Florida Board of Education Approves Expansion of ‘Parental Rights in Education’ Bill to Ban Classroom LGBTQ Instruction in All K-12 Grades

The Florida Board of Education has approved an expansion of the state’s “Parental Rights in Education” bill that would prohibit classroom instruction in sexual orientation and gender identity in all K-12 grades rather than only K-3.

In March 2022, Gov. Ron DeSantis (R) signed into law H.B.1557, known as the “Parental Rights in Education” bill, a measure that bans classroom instruction by teachers or third parties on the topics of sexual orientation or gender identity in grades K-3, “or in a manner that is not age appropriate or developmentally appropriate for students in accordance with state standards.”

The new rule change voted upon Wednesday, does not require the state legislature’s approval. It would prohibit such discussions in the classroom for children in grades 4-12 unless required by existing state standards or as part of a reproductive health class to which parents and students can opt-out.

According to the new rule, teachers who violate the prohibition could have their teaching licenses suspended or revoked.


The expansion in grade levels is expected to take effect in one month following a procedural notice period.

Florida Education Department spokesman Alex Lanfranconi told The Washington Post “the topics of gender identity and sexual orientation have no place in the classroom” and that “today’s state board action reaffirms Florida’s commitment to uphold parental rights and keep indoctrination out of our schools.”

Leftist groups and media predictably condemned the new rule.

Vanity Fair reacted to the law’s expansion to include all K-12 grades by referring to DeSantis as a “bigot extraordinaire.”

“Under the vague new rules, a teacher who taught this would be fired and their career would end,” Joe Saunders, senior political director of Equality Florida, told the Post in a statement. “This rule is by design a tool for curating fear, anxiety and the erasure of our LGBTQ community.”

The Post acknowledged, however, that “dozens of Floridians” expressed their support for the new rule during the Florida Board of Education meeting’s public comment period before it voted on the expansion.

“These decisions should be left at home for parents to decide when and if their children are exposed to this material,” said Ryan Kennedy of Florida Citizens Alliance.

Mat Staver, chairman of the First Amendment legal organization Liberty Counsel also said in a statement that the Florida Board of Education’s vote to expand the rule “is another step toward protecting children” from gender ideology.

“The classroom is not an appropriate place for discussions about sexual orientation and gender identity,” Staver added. “Radical activists have no business trying to confuse and indoctrinate our children regarding their biological gender.”

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Susan Berry, PhD, is national education editor at The Star News Network. Email tips to [email protected]




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