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The Florida “Parental Rights in Education” bill has been boiled down to a simple slogan "Don't say gay".
Florida's Senate passed a bill on Tuesday, and if DeSantis signs the bill into law, school teachers and staff would be prohibited from having classroom instruction about sexual orientation or gender identity with students from kindergarten through grade 3.
People opposing this bill decided to get loud today, and Southern Progress wants your help to post $300,000 worth in advertising billboards around Florida with the line: "say GAY". The fundraising is being done here on Act Blue, where they explain that they have this amount of media space pre-approved by a number of billboard vendors and they are ready to roll out on Wednesday of this week.
As a billboard, it certainly is easy to read even if you speed past it on a highway, and if you're aware of the nickname for the “Parental Rights in Education” bill, you'll get the joke immediately. Opponents of the bill argue that it would make life at school harder for LGBTQ kids.
The bill states: “Classroom instruction by school personnel or third parties on sexual orientation or gender identity may not occur in kindergarten through grade 3 or in a manner that is not age-appropriate or developmentally appropriate for students in accordance with state standards.”
Parents would be able to sue districts over violations. President Joe Biden called the bill that aims to keep sex & gender talk out of toddlers' and eight-year old's classrooms “hateful.”
Supporters of the bill, including Republican State Sen. Dennis Baxley, have said that their focus is on classroom instruction and that the bill does not actually prevent the word "gay" from being said in schools.
"Here you've got a bill that doesn't use the term gay that the media has taken and advertises as a 'Don't say gay bill,' and there's nothing about that in the bill except extrapolating a mission that they're on," Baxley said.
Democrats meawhile said the bill's parameters are too undefined and are the cause of "horrendous" interpretations, such as when Christina Pushaw, a spokesperson for DeSantis, called it an "anti-grooming bill." Democratic State Sen. Tina Polsky said. "It's horrendous the way this bill has been interpreted, and that's because it's not defined."
The fundraiser for these "Gay" billboards will likely go very well, as they are already setting Twitter on fire, with even Donald Trump Jr drawing attention to them:
I was told by the left/the media you couldn’t say “GAY” in Florida? I guess they were full of shit as usual?!? pic.twitter.com/GMrdXWaiCr
— Donald Trump Jr. (@DonaldJTrumpJr) March 21, 2022
Just like the waves running high on both sides when the National Organization for Marriage created a perfect FUD commercial, and award-winning director Richard Linklater made a choddy for what they called "the bathroom bill" these ads seem more focused on digging either side deeper into their trench than to inform the populous about what it says in the actual bill. You can read it here. There is no "don't say gay" mentioned, however, there is quite a lot about informing parents about what their toddler and pre-teen child is up to, and you can not prevent a parent from accessing certain records. Nor can you encourage a child to withhold from a parent specified information. And I quote: "prohibiting school district personnel from discouraging or prohibiting parental notification and involvement in critical decisions affecting a student's mental, emotional, or physical well-being; prohibiting a school district from encouraging classroom discussion about sexual orientation or gender identity in primary grade levels or in a specified manner"
It may be "vaguely" written as Democratic State Sen. Tina Polsky complains it is, but aside from that how many people really disagree on banning teachers and children from "prohibiting parental notification and involvement in critical decisions affecting a student's mental, emotional, or physical well-being"? One would think that is exactly when parents should be involved in their children's lives.