What is the “Don’t Say Gay” bill? It’s formally known as Senate Bill 1834 and House Bill 1557, “Parental Rights in Education”. (Note that euphemism, “parental rights”. It comes up in all sorts of arenas, and essentially means encouraging ultra-conservative parents to keep their kids in their conservative bubble.)
A school district may not encourage classroom discussion about sexual orientation or gender identity in primary grade levels or in a manner that is not age-appropriate or developmentally appropriate for students.
[Parents] may bring an action against a school district to obtain a declaratory judgement that a school district procedure or practice violates this paragraph and seek injunctive relief. A court may award damages and shall award reasonable attorney fees and court costs to a parent who receives declaratory or injunctive relief.
It’s a short read; I’d encourage you to read through it at the link I attached above. One of the most problematic parts of the bill is that it now requires schools to tell the parents of students who come out to teachers/administrators as LGBTQ+ within six weeks of learning that information. Now, a previous draft of the bill explicitly deemed that to be not required if “a reasonably prudent person would believe that such disclosure would result in abuse, abandonment, or neglect.” Well, it shouldn’t be required at all, but at least this is more reasonable. (And most cases where students would not report it to their parents themselves would be under these three conditions anyways.) But now, under the passed bill,
the school principal or his or her designee shall develop a plan, using all available governmental resources, to disclose such information within [six] weeks after the decision to withhold such information from the parent.
Remarkable. By the way, last year, the Trevor Project found that LGBTQ+ young people who learned about LGBTQ+ people and issues in school were 23% less likely to report a suicide attempt. Bill 1557/1834 will prevent this necessary education under the guise of parental rights.
I’ve dedicated a lot of space to this bill because it is so important. But this is just the latest of Ron DeSantis’ bullshit. (Of course, DeSantis just signed it – it still passed both state legislatures, so the problem is not just him.) Florida itself is unhinged. Recently, neo-Nazis led a rally, which included discriminatory comments against Jews and violence. Florida recently debated book banning. By the way, here’s the full list of proposed books:
- “Two Boys Kissing” by David Levithan
- “The Kite Runner” by Khaled Hosseini
- “Extremely Loud and Incredibly Close” by Jonathan Safran Foer
- “Thirteen Reasons Why” by Jay Asher
- “The Vincent Boys” by Abbi Glines
- “It’s Perfectly Normal” by Robie Harris and illustrated by Michael Emberley
- “Real Live Boyfriends” by E. Lockhart
- “George” by Alex Gino
- “I am Jazz” by Jessica Herthel and Jazz Jennings
- “Drama” by Raina Telgemeier
- “Nineteen Minutes” by Jodi Picoult
- “More Happy Than Not” by Adam Silvera
- “Beloved” by Toni Morrison
- “The Bluest Eye” by Toni Morrison
- “Tricks” by Ellen Hopkins
- “Almost Perfect” by Brian Katcher
It’ll come as a surprise to exactly no one that the majority of books are LGBTQ+ and were banned just for that. Florida instituted sweeping mask and vaccine bans, including a shocking September of last year bill that will fine businesses that require vaccination of their employees. By the way, by September 2021, Florida was leading the nation in COVID-19 statistics. Aren’t you surprised? You’ll also want to look into their voting laws. He’s instituted a law protecting white citizens from hearing about CRT, the “Stop W.O.K.E. Act”, saying,
In Florida, we are taking a stand against the state-sanctioned racism that is critical race theory. We won’t allow Florida tax dollars to be spent teaching kids to hate our country or to hate each other. We also have a responsibility to ensure that parents have the means to vindicate their rights when it comes to enforcing state standards. Finally, we must protect Florida workers against the hostile work environment that is created when large corporations force their employees to endure CRT-inspired ‘training’ and indoctrination.
He’s embraced Let’s Go Brandon, a euphemism for “Fuck Joe Biden”. He sells “Don’t Fauci My Florida” merch, a torturous reference to Dr. Anthony Fauci, CDC director. On the neo-Nazi rally I mentioned above, his press secretary asked, “Do we even know they are Nazis?” In case you’re wondering where that came from, it’s a reference to the Lincoln Project’s posing as neo-Nazis at a rally for Glenn Youngkin. By the way, this is coming from a state with a very large Jewish population.
In 1923, a peaceful Black community was attacked and wiped out by white racists who burned down everything and covered it up. Recently reparations are being made. This was the Rosewood Massacre, and it took place in Florida. Yet Ron DeSantis has no knowledge of this sort of thing, and other vestiges of America’s racism. Instead he suppresses it with his laws, all the while posing as a champion of justice and individual rights.
By the way, Ron DeSantis has a clear run at the 2024 presidency (which, on a personal note, will be the first presidential election I’ll be old enough to vote for). As voters in a democracy, we’d better keep him far away from that position.