Topline

Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis (R) signed the Parental Rights in Education bill—known by critics as the “Don’t Say Gay” bill—into law Monday, enacting the policy despite widespread controversy and likely paving the way for other states to impose similar legislation.

Key Facts

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In a bill-signing at Classical Preparatory School in Spring Hill, Florida, DeSantis claimed parents’ rights have been “increasingly ignored” and criticized classroom materials showing depictions of transgender people or discussions of gender identity.

He also decried the widespread criticism of the law, saying if Hollywood celebrities oppose it, “I wear that like a badge of honor.”

HB 1557 will prohibit any “classroom instruction” involving “sexual orientation or gender identity” through the third grade, and any discussions about it in older grades if it’s “in a manner that is not age appropriate or developmentally appropriate.”

The law will also require that schools notify parents of any changes “related to the student’s mental, emotional, or physical health or well-being,” unless it will result in “abuse, abandonment, or neglect,” leading to fears it could require schools to disclose students’ sexual orientation or gender identity to their parents.

Republicans have denied that the law is discriminatory, but critics worry the bill’s vague language will lead to widespread censorship of LGBTQ issues in schools and harm LGBTQ youth and their mental health.