bad education

“Such incredible horsesh*t!”: Florida’s largest district uses ‘Don’t Say Gay’ to screw over students

Miami-Dade Public Schools is the largest school district in Florida and the fourth largest in the nation, responsible for educating over 334,000 students. The board did them a huge disservice this week after members rejected two proposed sex education textbooks, citing concerns they violate the state’s “Parental Rights in Education” bill, aka “Don’t Say Gay.”

The bill was signed into law by Gov. Ron DeSantis in March. Since then, reports of teachers being told to remove signage indicating a classroom is a “safe space” for LGBTQ students and inform parents if a child’s peer is “open about their gender identity” in P.E. class have confirmed critics’ worst fears.

The 5-4 board decision to ban the books not only leaves the district without a sex ed curriculum for middle and high school students less than one month from the start of the fall semester, it ensures that whatever course they do wind up with will be insufficient.

Despite Florida law allowing parents to opt their children out of sex ed, 278 parents petitioned against the materials, which included lessons on gender identity and unplanned pregnancies.

“Some of the chapters are extremely troublesome,” said board member Mari Tere Rojas. “I do not consider them to be age appropriate. In my opinion, they go beyond what the state standards are.”

“Our current … process defends parents and their children who do not want to be exposed to this,” said Steve Gallon III, the board’s vice chair who supported the books. “But we cannot deny parents who want to have access for their children to this critically important information.”

A speaker for the local chapter of conservative group County Citizens Defending Freedom issued this troubling statement to the board: “Teachers that will be providing this material to children, which is illegal in the state of Florida, and the board that votes to adopt this, in the end — the country, the state and your community, will consider all of you groomers.”

DeSantis press secretary Christina Pushaw helped popularize the bigoted “groomer” attack when she labeled the bill the “Anti-grooming bill” in March, drawing fierce criticism from LGBTQ activists.

School staffers estimate it could take between four and eight months for news books to be approved.

Here’s what some folks are saying about the decision: