When it comes to America’s descent into a dystopian hellscape, most people have probably been focused on things like the January 6th Committee’s ongoing revelations about Donald Trump’s attempt to overthrow democracy and the Supreme Court’s rulings that it’s not. greater separation of church and state, women have no rights, and coal companies can kill us all. (Not to mention that next term they might make it legal for Republicans to steal elections.) But it’s important to remember that Trump and the Christofascists on the Supreme Court aren’t the only people we have to worry about. There are also elected officials like Ron DeSantis who have a slim chance of becoming president in 2024. Like Trump, the Florida governor takes immense pride in being a bully; he bullied Special Olympics, he bullied Disney, he bullies anyone who disagrees with him, and in the words of one of his college teammates to The New Yorker, “Ron is the most selfish person I’ve ever dealt with. He has always loved to embarrass and humiliate people. I speak for others – he was the biggest dick we knew.
What would the country look like if DeSantis were to ascend to the White House? In a word: scary. In three words: truly awful. In 20 words: This is the kind of place where teachers are warned not to display rainbow flags for fear of prosecution.
Yes, the Desantis Parental Rights in Education Act, aka the Don’t Say Gay Act, went into effect in Florida on Friday, and it’s hard to overstate how scary the whole thing is. In addition to banning talk of gender identity and sexual orientation in kindergarten through third grade, it also bans such discussions throughout high school, saying such topics cannot be discussed in any class in a way that is not “age-appropriate.” or developmentally appropriate.” believe the measure has been derailed. “When we talk about the culture of fear and the chilling effect this bill has created, we’re talking about teachers and school districts being afraid to approach anything related to LGBTQ people or issues for fear of lawsuits and professional ruin. ,” Florida Rep. Carlos Guillermo Smith told The Hill.
For example, the Orange County Teachers Association this week accused school officials of telling teachers not to wear rainbow clothes and to get rid of “safe room” stickers and photos of their same-sex spouses, NBC News reports. The Palm Beach County School District sent out a questionnaire last month asking its teachers to review all course material and flag any books that refer to sexual orientation, gender identity or race, according to Michael Woods, a special education teacher at Palm Beach County High School. (Woods said the district had removed I Am Jazz and Call Me Max several weeks earlier for seemingly referencing gender identity.) The Leon County School Board on Tuesday approved the LGBTQ-inclusive guide, according to NBC. which includes a clause that says parents must be notified if a student who is open about their gender identity is in their child’s gym class or with them on an overnight school trip. “Upon notification or identification of a student who is open about their gender identity, parents of affected students will be notified of reasonable accommodations available,” the guidelines state. “Parents or students who are concerned about being assigned a room for their student’s upcoming night event due to religious or privacy concerns may request an accommodation.”
Meanwhile, as NBC points out, DeSantis has argued that this is just the beginning, saying in an interview with Fox News in April that “things like awakened gender ideology have no place in schools, period.”
Brandon Wolf, press secretary for Equality Florida — one of the groups suing the DeSantis administration over the law — told The Hill, “We’ve always understood what we’re up against in the state of Florida. We know these lawmakers, we know the shift to the right under Gov. Ron DeSantis. He added that he fears the measure will only increase anti-LGBTQ+ violence, which increased from 2020 to 2021 and will worsen in 2022, according to Armed Conflict Location & Event Data Project. “It seems very ominous that in a state that had the deadliest attack on LGBTQ people in this nation’s history … we are having conversations about erasing our history, our lives and our lived experiences from our classrooms,” Wolf said.
A group of “teachers” reportedly proposed to the state board of education that slavery be called “involuntary displacement.” Yes, indeed! Opposition to the proposed change, which would be similar to calling Hitler’s systematic murder of 6 million Jews to reduce the population, apparently surfaced at the June 15 meeting, where the Democrat representing Dallas and Fort Worth noted that the new wording must not be a “fair representation” of the slave trade. According to the Texas Tribune, board members have asked the group to “reexamine the wording,” writing, “For K-2, carefully examine the language used to describe the events, specifically the term ‘involuntary relocation.'” Because apparently “Are you kidding me?” or “What the hell is wrong with you?” is considered inappropriate.
Is Equality Florida a nonprofit?
Great Nonprofits, a leading provider of user reviews of nonprofit organizations, has announced that it has recognized equality in the prestigious “2014 with the highest rating of the year” award.
How can I support Lgbtq youth in Florida?
Encourage education and juvenile justice professionals to participate in equality training. Encourage your state representatives or local leaders to protect LGBTQ people. Support Gay-Straight Alliances (GSAs) in schools and other efforts to create safe school environments for LGBTQ youth.