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“Don’t Say Gay” Legislation Clears Committee

February 8th, 2022 by Mike Vasilinda

Legislation that would prohibit the discussion of gender identity in the classroom moved forward today in the state Capitol after more than a hundred people voiced their displeasure with the idea. As Mike Vasilinda tells us, changes to the bill are expected, including clarifying which grades will be impacted.

It was standing room only as more than a hundred people showed up to speak against the legislation sponsored by Sen. Dennis Baxley (R-Ocala).

“We’re talking about K thru three” Baxley told the committee.

He argued that schools are lax about involving parents in discussions about sex and gender.

“These children belong to families. They are not wards of the state” says Baxley.

Senator Tina Polsky asked if the bill would prohibit a child from talking about their family in class. “Why does Johnny have two mommies?” She asked. “ What is the teacher supposed to say?”

Baxley responded, saying “I think you should talk, some discussions are for your parents.”

Dan Van Trice told us it will very much impact what his kids can say in class.

“They take pictures of their family to school and they put them up on the bulletin board, and they talk about their families. Well, my kids won’t be able to participate in that” the father or two worries.

Jackson County Teacher Anita Hatcher spoke about her transgender son and his father.

“When you reassert parental authority, sometimes you get the parental authority of my child’s father, who told him it would be better if he took his own life” Hatcher told the committee, stressing the anxiety kids questioning their gender face.

And while this bill only applies to kids up to the third grade, parents tell us it needs to apply to all classrooms.

January Littlejohn was one of handful who testified in favor. She has filed suit in Federal Court after Leon schools went behind her back counseling her 13 year old about her sexual preferences.

“They told me they could not tell me anything about the meeting.” Littlejohn told us.  “That my daughter was protected from me.”

As written, the bill would allow parents to sue school boards that violate the law.

The ability for parents to sue is expected to be stripped from the bill at its next stop and be replaced with a fine or other sanctions.

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