President Joe Biden preemptively encouraged students and parents to file civil rights complaints as Democrats and activists continue to intentionally hyperbolize the law’s effect in order to fuel a narrative against it.
Governor Ron DeSantis signed the bill into law in March, known as the Parental Rights in Education law.
The law prohibits classroom instruction on sexual orientation or gender identity in kindergarten through third grade, specifically, and requires instruction in higher grades levels to be “developmentally appropriate”.
An example of current developmentally appropriate instruction is sexual health education for children which begins in fifth grade in the state. Instructors give a lesson on the bodily changes involved with puberty, but orientation and gender identity are not part of the curriculum at that age.
Representative Joe Harding (R), who sponsored the law as a bill, said he had been notified of many instances where students as young as kindergarteners were being taught lessons about “gender theory and gender identity” in an interview with a local ABC affiliate.
“The reason that the bill exists is because we have specific examples where this type of instruction has happened in Florida schools,” he said.
That has not stopped activist groups and Democrats from portraying the law as discriminatory and a violation of free speech. Their widespread hyperbolization of the law’s intent has caused some districts to implement policies beyond the law’s scope, leading to further criticism by activists.
Andrew Spar, the president of the Florida Education Association (FEA), said teachers have reported districts telling them to remove LGBT flags, safe space stickers, and photos of same-sex partners from their classrooms, according to The Hill.
The law does not prohibit any of those items in classrooms.
In a statement, the White House said Biden’s Department of Education will be monitoring the law’s implementation and encouraged complaints.
“Any student or parent who believes they are experiencing discrimination is encouraged to file a complaint with the Department’s Office for Civil Rights. Our Administration will continue to fight for dignity and opportunity for every student and family—in Florida and around the country,” White House press secretary Karine Jean-Pierre said in a statement.