New Florida Bill Will Restrict LGBTQ Instruction

Here’s what you need to know about Florida’s newest bill, deemed “Don’t Say Gay”

Krystal Tschida, Staff Writer

Last week, the controversial House Bill no. 1557(deemed the “Don’t Say Gay” bill by critics) was signed into law. The new bill restricts the instruction of sexual orientation and gender identity from Kindergarten through Third Grade in schools across the state of Florida.

According to the new laws, it is not developmentally appropriate for the younger kids to discuss LGBTQ+ material being so young. However, the new bill is giving everybody mixed emotions, especially those who, “might have felt different all their life,” said Amanda Jean, a high school journalist in Florida. She also said that the new bill had made a lot of parents feel uneasy, especially those who are in a same-sex marriage. Zoe Matzan, a Freshman at FHS, would agree. She said, “What if I had two parents of the same gender and I wasn’t able to talk about it because of the way Florida state law works? I think being LGBTQ should be normalized no matter what state you’re in.” Zoe also stated that there are so many kids confused and now the law is making kids in Florida want to hide who they truly are even if it’s just at a young age.

Critics have heavily condemned the bill. “Every LGBTQ young person deserves to attend a school that provides an inclusive, affirmative environment, not one that aims to erase their existence,” says Amit Paley, the CEO & Executive Director of The Trevor Project, an organization focused on suicide prevention among LGBTQ youth.

While the bill has received a plethora of scrutiny and backlash, it equally has its support. Isaiah Kay, another Freshman, stated that the “governor only put out the law because he did not want little kids talking about these things at a young age. They should be having fun and going to Disney.” Isaiah stated that “it’s not the governor’s fault, it’s just that people need to focus more on education in those early years rather than talking about sexuality.”

“We will make sure that parents can send their kids to school to get an education, not an indoctrination,” says Florida Governor Ron DeSantis. While some argue that the bill is marginalizing students’ rights, others have made a point that parents deserve to have a say in what is being taught to their kids.