The Florida Senate Education Committee passed a controversial bill on Tuesday that would bar school districts from encouraging classroom discussion about sexual orientation or gender identity. The Parental Rights in Education bill, commonly referred to the “Don’t Say Gay” bill by its critics, would apply to such topics in primary grade levels, as well as in cases where the discussions are deemed “not age-appropriate.”
The bill, proposed by Republican State Senator Dennis Baxley, would extend to student support services, including counseling, and would require school district personnel to give parents all information related to a student’s “mental, emotional or physical health or well-being,” unless it’s believed that such disclosure would result in abuse. Parents would be able to sue districts that do not follow these requirements.
The bill’s purpose, according to its text, is to “reinforce the fundamental right of parents to make decisions regarding the upbringing and control of their children.”