Florida state Representative Jason Shoaf is calling for the removal of a Leon County middle school principal after the principal posted on Facebook that parents are “getting in our way.” Shoaf’s call for action is in response to a media report about comments in a Facebook post by Sarah Hembree, the principal of Elizabeth Cobb middle school, is located in Leon County.
On Tuesday, Tallahassee Reports published a story about the Facebook post by Hembree which stated in part, “Today I say – Parents, Quit pushing for stupid bills and getting in our way…schools are going to do what’s best for your students in spite of you..”
The “Quit pushing for stupid bills” statement appears to be a reference to the Parental Rights in Education bill that was recently signed into law by Governor DeSantis.
Hembree added that teachers “want to decide what they teach in their classroom based on the needs of the students in front of them….I am SO TIRED of being told we don’t know what we are doing or that we are messing with parents’ rights.”
Amid a debate over parental rights in education legislation (HB 1557/SB 1834), a review of policies across several Florida school boards indicates there is inconsistent guidance related to parental rights and student confidentiality.
For example, recent reports about elementary school officials in Clay County engaging in the counseling of a student without notifying parents revealed competing views about parental rights within the school district.
Clay county school officials allegedly defended their actions by invoking “confidentiality rules” to justify not including the parents in the counseling sessions.
However, a lawsuit filed notes that the Clay County Public Schools written guidance expressly contradicts the use of “confidentiality rules.” An exhibit attached to the lawsuit notes that children do not have a confidentiality right and that school officials must obtain parental consent before guaranteeing confidentiality to a child.
During the debate over Florida’s Parental Rights legislation (HB 1557/ SB 1834), progressive politicians are ignoring issues in public schools and calling the proposal the “Don’t Say Gay” bill.
The bill addresses a number of concerns related to communications between school officials and students. The bill requires school officials to notify parents if issues arise related to a students mental, emotional physical well-being. In addition, the bill prohibits school officials from encouraging students to withhold information.
Issues related to these provisions are currently being litigated in two separate legal cases across Florida. For example, parents are suing the Clay County Schools Board for counseling their elementary school child related to gender without their knowledge. The parents became aware of the situation when their child tried to commit suicide. School officials allegedly defended their actions by invoking “confidentiality rules” to justify not including the parents in the counseling sessions.
January Littlejohn knew there was a problem when she picked up her daughter at Deer Lake Middle School in Tallahassee, Florida one September afternoon last year. Her daughter revealed she was interviewed by school officials about gender preference issues. She was asked by officials about changing her name and also about which restroom she preferred to use.
Littlejohn, who is a mother of three children and a licensed mental health counselor, was shocked. Shocked at the fact that the meeting took place without her knowledge.
She had previously informed school officials about the family situation. Her daughter was experiencing stress about her gender at the height of the pandemic and the family was completely caught by surprise. The family found a counselor and began researching the issue.
And now school officials had intervened between her and her daughter over a very personal issue.
She would later explain in a speech to the Florida Family Policy Council how “gender ideology almost destroyed my family.”
On Monday, the Child & Parental Rights Campaign, Inc. filed a lawsuit in the Federal District Court for the Northern District of Florida on behalf of Mr. and Mrs. Littlejohn against the Leon County School Board (LCSB) related to the Board’s gender policy. The defendants also include Superintendent Rocky Hanna and Dr. Kathleen Rodgers.
The suit alleges that the LCSB ignored the Littlejohn’s parental rights relating to their daughter’s gender confusion by concealing from them actions taken by school officials.
Child and Parental Rights Campaign, Inc. (CPR-C) is a non-partisan, non-profit public interest law firm whose mission is to defend parental rights and protect children’s well-being against the impacts of gender identity ideology.
During a special Leon County School Board (LCSB) meeting on Thursday, Board member Rosanne Wood initiated a discussion about vaccine incentives focused on Leon County School (LCS) employees and students. The initiative could provide a monetary incentive for employees and students to get vaccinated.
Board member Wood opened the discussion by stating, “since we are the educators of Leon County, we need to be doing a better job of educating our kids, parents, and our families of the importance of this vaccine…”
Wood mentioned that SAIL High School is holding a vaccine clinic and will be offering Starbucks gift cards and Amazon gift cards to students and employees who get vaccinated.