In wake of Florida law, additional states seek to restrict certain LGBTQ discussions in schools

March 18, 2023 at 14:40

Washington CNN —Bills similar to Florida’s controversial legislation that bans certain instruction about sexual orientation and gender identity in schools are being considered in at least 15 states, data compiled by the American Civil Liberties Union and reviewed by CNN shows.
LGBTQ rights advocates see a conscious decision to stigmatize a vulnerable slice of American society and a potential chilling effect on what they believe to be urgently needed discussions.
“We will continue to recognize that in the state of Florida, parents have a fundamental role in the education, health care and well-being of their children.
A bill in Oregon that would prohibit any discussion on sexual identity for grades kindergarten through third grade without parental notification and consent.
“We’re not saying that you can’t do this,” Washington Republican state Sen. Phil Fortunato, who introduced legislation that would limit instruction on gender and sexual identity for kindergarten through third grade, told CNN.
“I mean, I disagree with it, but, you know, if the parents and the child agree with it, that is their decision.
But they shouldn’t be doing it behind the parent’s back when their kid goes to school.
One of those lawsuits, brought by a group of students, parents and teachers in Florida, was thrown out last month by US District Judge Allen Winsor, a Trump appointee, who said the challengers were unable to show that they’ve been harmed by the law.
Their failure to do so requires dismissal.”At the heart of opponents’ concerns is the vagueness in the laws’ language as written.
“For example, does it include teachers’ lesson plans, or does it sweep so broadly as to include classroom discussion?
A teacher answering a student’s question, a teacher perhaps intervening in an incident where one student is bullying another student because of that student’s prestige, sexual orientation or gender identity?
“Like any other parent, I expect my family to be welcomed and accepted by others at the school,” McCully wrote.