Florida Governor Ron DeSantis recently signed the Parental Rights in Education bill (HB1557). The bill prohibits classroom instruction on sexual orientation and gender identity for students in kindergarten through third grade.
As to be expected, DeSantis has received backlash and criticism from the LGBTQ community, the media, President Biden, and even Walt Disney World.
Critics nicknamed HB 1557 the “don’t say gay” bill, warning it isn’t necessary and makes some students feel unsafe by singling out LGBTQ material as dangerous and inappropriate.
Supporters praise the bill and say that parents need to have control over such discussions, not teachers.
DeSantis states, “First graders should not have woke gender ideology imposed in their curriculum, and that is what we are standing for.”
In addition to barring instruction in elementary-age classrooms that touch on sexual orientation or gender identity, the bill also prohibits schools from withholding information from parents regarding their child’s mental, emotional or physical health. And the bill allows parents to file lawsuits against school districts they believe violated the legislation.
This brings up a couple of questions… what are parents’ rights in education? And should parents have more rights in education?
According to greatschools.org, there are 15 rights that parents have in public schools across all states. The right to a free education, the right to not be discriminated against, and the right to freedom of speech and religion are a few of these rights.
But should parents have more rights and control in schools? Maybe more control over classroom curriculum? As of now, states and their districts are still in control of classroom curriculum. The Florida Parental Rights in Education bill is currently as close as it’s going to get for parents.