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  • Writer's pictureThe Beacon Today

Will Florida's new 'Parental Rights in Education' bill affect education in schools?

Florida’s Sen. Ron DeSantis signs the “Parental Rights in Education” bill. (Photo courtesy of the Tampa Bay Times)

Gov. Ron DeSantis signed the “Parental Rights in Education” bill on Feb. 24, which states that public school teachers in Florida are no longer allowed to teach about sexual orientation or gender identity in classes for children under 9 years old.

Because the “Don’t Say Gay” bill has received differing opinions on whether it is right or not to sign it, many people have labeled the bill as controversial. Some people think that students should be educated about sexual orientation at an early age, while others argue that students are not ready to learn about it until they are 10 years old.

“As a parent to a child who is in the age for being affected by the ‘Don’t Say Gay’ bill, I think that this can affect children's learning outcome, and how they think about sexuality in the future,” Daniella Rodriguez said, mother to an 8-year-old girl.

She said that the bill will delay children’s education about sexual orientation, which will create a less open environment for discussions about sexuality.

On the other hand, many people are supporting the bill because they say the bill can protect children up to 9 years old from learning about sexual orientation too early in age. Some parents have argued that children are not ready to know about sexual orientation yet, and many parents want to have a final say about what their children learn and when.

“The bill allows me as a parent to an 8-year-old to determine when I think that my child is ready to learn about LGBTQ,” Kevin Kemp said.

The legislation allows parents to sue a school district if the new bill is violated, which many see as a positive result.

“Since I do not think my child is ready to be introduced to LGBTQ, the opportunity I now have with this bill to sue school districts makes me be in favor of this bill as well,” Kemp said.

He said that although he understands that parents can think their children are ready to talk about sexual orientation, he personally feels that his child is not ready for a discussion about sexual orientation. The bill will allow every student to learn about sexual orientation at the same age.

By Hedda Jarhall

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