Teachers in the state of Florida are having difficulty dealing with a recently enacted state legislation supported by Governor Ron DeSantis that places restrictions on how they may discuss topics related to gender identity and sexual orientation in the classroom.
The polarizing Parental Rights in Education Act, which was enacted by Florida Governor Ron DeSantis in March, became effective on July 1, resulting in the new rules. The legislation has been called the "Don't Say Gay" act by its detractors, who consider it a component of a broader conservative effort to restrict student and teacher dialogue on issues of race, gender, and sexuality within schools.
Governor Gavin Newsom of California drew parallels between the Parental Rights in Education Act and a nearly identical bill proposed in California in 1978 that would have effectively excluded gay educators from the profession.
On Monday, the Orange County Public Schools district published a statement providing educators with guidelines for addressing student issues related to sexual orientation in the classroom.
According to the document, instructors may discuss personal relationships with students in grades K-3 but cannot formally "instruct" on those subjects.
Specifically, the memo states that the Bill restricts sexual orientation and gender identity instruction, not the mere discussion of those subjects.
These debates aren't only occurring in Orange County
After initially voting to ban two contentious sex education textbooks from classroom use, the Miami-Dade School Board kept discussing the issue last week.
The books include topics such as abortion, pregnancy prevention, natural techniques such as disengagement, gender identification, and sexual preference, written for pupils in both middle and high school classrooms.
After much deliberation, the board finally decided to reconsider its earlier judgment and let the books back into the schools.
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