Jul 01, 2022
Floridas ‘Don’t Say Gay’ law takes effect today as schools scramble to avoid parental lawsuits
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Even before Republicans in Florida passed Governor Ron DeSantis‘ “Don’t Say Gay” bill some defenders of the anti-LGBTQ legislation insisted it applied only to kindergarten through third grade, and that anyone who opposed the bill – as the governor’s official spokesperson charged – was “probably a groomer.”
But LGBTQ advocates, activists, and supporters made clear the purposefully broad and vague language in the bill and the threat inserted into the legislation allowing parents to sue for perceived violations would have a chilling effect.
They were right.
READ MORE: Ron DeSantis hasn’t asked for Trump’s endorsement — and doesn’t plan to: report
The “Don’t Say Gay” law, officially the “Parental Rights in Education” law, goes into effect today, July 1, after DeSantis, at an event held at a charter school exempt from the legislation in March, surrounded by young children, talked about the bill and signed it into law.
Educators across the state’s 67 school districts are seeing just how extensive it is being interpreted and implemented, given the near-total lack of guidance from the DeSantis administration.
In March, U.S. Secretary of Education Miguel Cardona issued a warning to Florida, saying “The Department of Education has made clear that all schools receiving federal funding must follow federal civil rights law, including Title IX’s protections against discrimination based on sexual orientation and gender identity.”
“We stand with our LGBTQ+ students in Florida and across the country, and urge Florida leaders to make sure all their students are protected and supported,” he said.
But aside from that broadside, the federal government appears to be taking a wait-and-see approach.
Meanwhile, reports from across Florida say districts’ legal counsel have warned that teachers should remove LGBTQ supportive materials, including rainbow and pride stickers, and even stickers denoting a particular classroom is a “safe space,” They have warned teachers should not wear anything with a rainbow and should remove any family photos if they include a same-sex spouse or partner. That same warning did not go to teachers with different-sex spouses or partners, leading some legal experts to warn of constitutional violations.
LGBTQ teachers, especially those who teach students in grades K-3, have also been warned to not discuss their family lives or even mention same-sex spouses or partners. And teachers and other school officials have been directed to look for anything LGBTQ-related, including books in school libraries.
But it hasn’t stopped there. Teachers have been told they are required to report – “out” – any student who comes out as LGBTQ.
Spectrum News reports Florida’s Orange County Public Schools “held a legal camp for 600 principals, vice-principals, and junior administrators,” specifically telling them, “Teachers must notify parents if a student comes out as gay to them.” Not an administrator, but a teacher.
ABC affiliate WFTV reports that Orange County Teachers’ Association (CTA) says “teachers will have to report to parents if a student ‘comes out’ to them and they must use pronouns assigned at birth, regardless of what the parents allow.”
Elsewhere in Florida, if there are questions about a student’s gender identity before or during overnight school trips that student will be outed not only to their own parents but to the parents of all the students in their class.
NBC News reports on Tuesday “the Leon County School Board unanimously approved its “LGBTQ Inclusive School Guide,” which includes a provision to alert parents if a student who is ‘open about their gender identity’ is in their child’s physical education class or with them on an overnight school trip.”
“Upon notification or determination of a student who is open about their gender identity, parents of the affected students will be notified of reasonable accommodation options available,” NBC reports the guidelines read. “Parents or students who have concerns about rooming assignments for their student’s upcoming overnight event based on religious or privacy concerns may request an accommodation.”
NBC also reports that in late May, “the School District of Palm Beach County sent out a questionnaire asking its teachers to review all course material and flag any books with references to sexual orientation, gender identity or race, said a Palm Beach County high school special education teacher, Michael Woods. Several weeks previously, the district removed two books — ‘I Am Jazz’ and ‘Call Me Max’ — that touch upon gender identity, he said.”From Your Site Articles
News Source: alternet.org
Tags: religious right don’t say gay don’t say sexual orientation palm beach county a student overnight school the legislation teachers legislation should remove orange county reports comes out effect today the bill ron desantis education news reports rainbow students have warned the parents
Crime and Public Safety | Watch: Oakland Police release school shooting surveillance video
OAKLAND — Surveillance video from the entrance of King Estates school complex shows two people with guns running through the school as others scattered in what turned out to be gunfire that that wounded six people.
Police released the 36-second video Monday night. In a statement, they said they released it “in hopes the community can help identify the individuals wanted in connection with the shooting.”
All six victims continue to recover. One victim remained in critical condition and another in stable condition at Highland Hospital last Friday; police have not updated their conditions. The other four victims all had been treated and discharged.
Two adult students were shot, along with a school counselor, security guard and two carpenters working at education complex, police said.
The complex remains closed.
The manhunt for the suspects has been on since the shots rang out Sept. 28. Police said they are looking for three suspects — two shooters and a driver.
Police are offering an award of up to $30,000 for information leading to an arrest in the case.
The video is silent and shows a male in a gray hoodie running through the covered outdoor area holding a gun and appearing to brandish it with an extended arm. Another male with a dark-colored top that appears to be a jacket also runs through the area, first in a direction going west-to-east on the video, then again going east-to-west.
The second suspect also has a backpack.Related Articles
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Three other people in the area appear to be interacting calmly when the two suspects run through the area. They scatter moments after the person in the gray hoodie appears to pull out the gun.
Police asked anyone with information to call their homicide unit at (510) 238-3821 or the department’s tip line at (510) 238-7950.