Does anyone understand this bill dubbed “Don’t Say Gay” Bill #1557 in Florida? According to Education Week, it does NOT mention the term “gay” or “LGBTQ+ community by name. Nor does it prohibit students at any grade level from talking about their LGBTQ+ family members or themselves or acknowledging the existence of gay people.” But it DOES say discussion about sexual orientation or gender identity may not occur in grades K-3.
As written, any parent could potentially sue their child’s school district if a teacher even refers to the concept of homosexuality in a classroom discussion. But what constitutes a “classroom discussion?” The Florida courts may have to decide what teachers can or can’t teach in classrooms.
For kids older than 3rd grade, their lessons have to be “age appropriate” or “developmentally appropriate” as dictated by the state education department. But what does that mean?
Bullying Starts Young
According to PromotePrevent, children at ages 4-6 begin to use aggressive and bullying-related to threaten or intimidate other kids. This is especially true if the child being picked on looks different from the bully. Already, you have a potential problem if you don’t address individuality.
What’s A Nuclear Family?
In today’s society, the nuclear family is almost extinct. Families can be formed by adoption, foster care, divorce, surrogacy, relatives standing in for mom and dad who have physical or mental issues. Children are born of what used to be called “out of wedlock.” Parents, not just celebrities, have children and don’t feel they have to get married or live with the fathers.
Since 2015, gay or same-sex marriage has been legal in the United States and many are allowed to form a family by surrogacy or adoption. According to the American Psychological Association, “”the adjustment, development and psychological well-being” of children is unrelated to parental sexual orientation. Children thrive and benefit from happy, healthy, environments where they feel safe, secure and loved.”
The child who is dropped off in school by two Daddies should not be made fun of nor the child who has a disability or looks different from his mother because he is of a different race. Would it hurt to have a classroom discussion about families? If it’s not talked about, the child will think it’s shameful.
If Governor De Santis wants the families involved in what kids are learning, then bring the parents into the classroom and have them instruct on different family structures. Don’t muzzle the kids, the teachers, some of whom may be gay.
Self-knowledge is as important as the 3 R’s and schools should still instill The Golden Rule.
When Your Child Is Gay: What You Need To Know
For more detailed advice, see book, co-authored with a mother of a gay son and a psychiatrist, Jonathan L. Tobkes, M.D.