Parents, students fight against Florida’s ‘Don’t Say Gay’ bill

Published: February 15, 2022 5:32 PM EST
Updated: February 16, 2022 7:04 PM EST

Parents and students are pushing back against the “Don’t say gay” bill.

If passed, the bill would keep schools from encouraging conversations about sexual orientation and gender identity.

Parents of LGBTQ children say the bill could really impact their children’s mental health and well-being.

Todd Delmay believes children will be forced to live in silence if the Parental Rights Education Bill, also known as the Don’t Say Gay bill, passes and becomes Florida law. Gov. Ron DeSantis has signaled support for the bill.

“If this bill had been enforced and one of my kid’s classmates would have said why does Blake have two dads, the teacher would have been forced to say go home and talk to your parents about that,” Delmay said.

Delmay said too many children might not feel comfortable doing that.

Advocates from all around the state got together at the Capitol.

Among them was Kaylee Sandell, a high school student.

She said kids sometimes talk to a teacher.

One Leon County student said the bill could make gay, lesbian, bi, trans or queer students feel isolated.

The bill focuses on teachers not having to talk about topics that could be seen as not age-appropriate.

But it doesn’t end there.

Teachers, school counselors or any school personnel would have to tell parents everything a student shares.

Those in support of the bill say the focus at school should be their subject matter.

“I don’t think that it is the schoolteacher’s responsibility to embrace every single question in that way,” said State Sen. Dennis Baxley.

Lee County schools said they are watching the progress of the bill through the legislature.

Collier County schools have no comment.