NewsFlorida reaches landmark settlement over 'Don't Say Gay' legislation

Florida reaches landmark settlement over 'Don't Say Gay' legislation

Florida reaches landmark settlement over 'Don't Say Gay' legislation
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7:23 AM EDT, March 12, 2024, updated: 8:12 AM EDT, March 12, 2024

In 2022, Florida Governor Ron DeSantis signed the Parental Rights in Education Act, also known as the "Don't Say Gay" bill. This controversial bill prohibited school teachers from discussing sexual orientation or gender identity with students. After a long fight by activists, the law was changed and signed by the same governor.

As the Associated Press reports, the settlement was established on Monday, March 11, between the Florida Board of Education and civil rights attorneys. Due to the changes in state law, teachers and students can discuss sexual orientation and gender identity in school as long as it is not instruction on these topics.

According to this settlement, the changed law also doesn't apply to books in which LGBTQ+ characters are mentioned, "as they are not instruction on sexual orientation or gender identity any more than a math problem asking students to add bushels of apples is instruction on apple farming," says the document.

"What this settlement does is re-establishes the fundamental principle that I hope all Americans agree with: Every kid in this country is entitled to an education at a public school where they feel safe, their dignity is respected, and their families and parents are welcomed. This shouldn’t be controversial," said Roberta Kaplan, the lead attorney for the plaintiffs, quoted by the Associated Press.

Republican Ron DeSantis' office named the settlement "a major win," highlighting that the bill still prohibits teachers from instructing kids on LGBTQ+, which is called by himself in a statement as "keep radical gender and sexual ideology out of the classrooms."

Sources: Associated Press, NPR, Governor Ron DeSantis office

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