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Bill proposes not encouraging sexual orientation and gender identity discussions in primary school

A bill that aims to strengthen parental rights in education calls for not encouraging discussions in primary grade levels or in a manner that is not age-appropriate.

TALLAHASSEE, Fla. — Some parents say they want to have a better grasp of what's happening with their child at school, especially if their children are at the elementary level.

A Florida House bill is moving forward that some say strengthens the parental rights in education. The proposed law says schools have to tell parents if there's a change in services or the child's mental, emotional, or physical health; otherwise parents could sue.

Part of the bill centers around not encouraging classroom discussion about sexual orientation and gender identity at the primary level. The bill's sponsor says while there would be some natural discussions, the curriculum should not initiate it. The Education and Employment committee heard from parents – including a mother who says school leaders asked her child which bathroom she preferred to use during a private meeting after school.

“When parents are excluded from decisions that affect their health and well-being at school, it sends the message to children that their parents input and authority are no longer important,” January Middlejohn said. She says she supports the bill.

A father, who was one of the first in the state to marry his partner back in 2015, says he’s against the bill. He says his son should have the opportunity to talk about his family – including his gay parents.

“When our children leave the safety of their home and they go to school they need to be able to talk about themselves and their family. It’s part of their self-identity,” Todd Delmay said.

You can check out HB 1557 and see what you think.

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