The teaching of sex and gender identity education will be banned in public schools at all levels if a Florida Department of Education rule is passed. The settlement expands the Parental Rights in Education Act to include students in grades four through ten.

And under that rule, teachers could face penalties or be suspended if they don’t follow it. A few moments ago a group of demonstrators protested here outside Broward Schools over this issue which they call undemocratic.

Florida Rising Community Organizer Carlos Naranjo says:

“We draw attention to the attacks on all kinds of vulnerable communities, immigrants, Afro communities and also LGTBQs.”

These protesters gathered outside the Broward Public Schools building in opposition to education bills introduced in Tallahassee.

“There is an anti-democratic attack by Governor DeSantis to limit what can happen in education,” Naranjo says.

Including an amendment to the Parents’ Rights in Education Act, which seeks to prohibit the teaching of sex and gender identity education in grades four through 12, unless academic standards l require.

Anthony Verdugo of the Christian Family Coalition says:

“Parents are the only ones who have the power to discuss these sensitive issues with their children if and when they wish. It is never the role of government to discuss these issues with children.

Last year, Governor Ron DeSantis signed the law into law, but it only applied to third graders.

“It has to go until grade 12, what’s the difference? Parents’ rights don’t stop at a certain school year,” Verdugo says.

For its part, the teachers’ union says the law was unnecessary.

Karla Hernández Mats, president of the Miami Dade Teachers Union, says, “Teachers are intimidated to speak up on certain issues. There has never been a K-3 program where sexual orientation is discussed.

Teachers could face disciplinary action and lose their license. If they don’t follow the Education Department rule if approved.

“They’re going too far, they’re not focusing on the issues that are real, it’s that there’s a shortage of teachers, it’s going to criminalize teachers, they’re taking away our rights,” Mats says.

According to the teachers union, there is currently a shortage of 5,000 teachers statewide. The amendment to the Parental Rights Act will go to a hearing on April 19.

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