Florida Republicans Press Ahead with Anti-Woke Education Bills Despite Leftist Backlash
As the Florida legislature convened for its annual session earlier this week, legislators are already discussing measures to build on laws that prevent ‘woke’ social teachings from being on the curriculum for K-12 students.
The bills would expand legislation from the Parental Rights in Education bill to prohibit teaching about LGBT issues to middle school, which only prohibited the subject until the third grade.
Another bill would set the curriculum for sex education to include teaching students that sex is determined by biology rather than existing as a social construction or based on someone’s preferences.
Bills addressing LGBT curriculum in schools have been proposed on the heels of legislation that will provide more choices to parents concerning their children’s education.
A bill making its way through the Florida legislature will allow parents to use the public dollars allocated to their children to go to another school.
BREAKING: Florida House Education Quality Subcommittee just passed a bill to fund students instead of systems.
It now goes to the House floor.
All families would be able to take their children's education dollars to the education providers of their choosing.
This is the way.
— Corey A. DeAngelis, school choice evangelist (@DeAngelisCorey) March 10, 2023
One bill in the Senate would discourage school staff from asking students about their pronouns or referring to them in a way that does not “correspond to his or her sex.”
The bills, most of which have not advanced past their respective committees so far, are already receiving backlash from left-wing advocacy groups and politicians in the state.
“It’s the scariest,” said Zen Nelson, a 14-year-old “genderqueer” student who uses they/them pronouns. “By being deprived of agency or a voice in how I am perceived or recognized, my sense of self is stolen from me. Being robbed of self-identification is a way of being robbed of self.”
Ahead of the latest round of bills restricting woke curriculum in the state, the Tampa Bay Times published an article about a mother saying that she plans to move with her transgender daughter to another state.
“(Desantis’) actions have left us feeling unwelcome and unsafe in our own community.”
I’m sure one of Desantis goals is to chase everyone out of Florida that he possibly can. Fascist. https://t.co/7WJX0PWiHg
— Jamie Schler (@lifesafeast) March 10, 2023
DeSantis’ Press Secretary, Bryan Griffin, clarified that legislation, such as the Senate bill preventing teachers from using students’ preferred pronouns, may be changed before it is passed and put on Governor DeSantis’ desk.
“As you know of any draft legislation, it is still subject to the legislative process, and thus varying iterations,” He said.
DeSantis’ communications team has defended the Governor’s education policies in the past week as his opponents continue to label his regulation of obscene materials as a ‘book ban.’
Parents do not want pornographic materials in our schools, and my administration will ensure that parents' objections to obscene materials in educational buildings are heard and that taxpayers are respected. pic.twitter.com/5M8ktcY0eA
— Ron DeSantis (@GovRonDeSantis) March 9, 2023
Still, left-wing advocacy groups have called the proposed legislation ‘cruel.’
Pauline Green, the executive director at The Alliance for LGBTQ Youth, said that casting doubt on minors’ use of transgender pronouns is ‘sad’ and ‘shocking.’
“To have elected officials legislate and use precious time and resources to legislate the use of [students’] pronouns is sad and shocking. There’s so many more issues impacting our young people in our school system,” Green said.
Still, Florida Republicans have mostly ignored the negative noise surrounding proposed bills this legislative session and have focused on a forward-looking agenda.
DeSantis’ recent state of the state address promoted a triumphalist vision for the state of Florida. The Governor tweeted, “Florida is #1, and we will work to ensure it remains #1” on Friday.
Florida is #1 and we will work to ensure it remains #1. pic.twitter.com/RKE5WRuEAK
— Ron DeSantis (@GovRonDeSantis) March 10, 2023
Other stories you may want to read: