Nearly a dozen Florida schools are tossing policies that violate Gov. Ron DeSantis’ new rules for LGBTQ issues in classrooms, officials said Wednesday.
Board of Education Senior Chancellor Jacob Oliva sent letters in November to 10 districts warning their guidelines didn’t line up with the Parental Rights Bill.
Among other provisions, the so-called “Don’t Say Gay” law requires that schools tell parents if their kids change genders or switch the bathrooms or locker rooms they use.
That provision contradicted policy at districts where student approval was necessary to reveal gender identity changes to parents.
Speaking at a Board of Education meeting Wednesday, Oliva said several districts have already scrapped current guidelines to match the bill passed in March.
In his letter to Leon County officials, Oliva wrote parents have a right to know if there’s a “change in the student’s services or monitoring related to the student’s mental, emotional, or physical health or well-being and the school’s ability to provide a safe and supportive learning environment for the student.”
Oliva specified the rules apply to a “student’s privacy, name and pronoun usage, and restroom and locker room usage.”
All 10 districts that got letters — Alachua, Broward, Brevard, Duval, Hillsborough, Indian River, Leon, Miami-Dade, Palm Beach and the Florida School for the Deaf and the Blind in St. Augustine — pledged to address Oliva’s concerns.
Two of them — Alachua and Brevard — recently mandated kids use bathrooms according to their biological sex to align with the law.
Oliva also reminded districts the legislation lets parents sue them for violating the law.
The Parental Bill of Rights set off a firestorm earlier this year, drawing particular scrutiny for banning subject matter related to sexual orientation or gender identity in kindergarten through the third grade.
DeSantis staunchly backed the law, arguing parents have a right to an unobscured view of school policy — and that sexualized subject matter is inappropriate for younger kids.
But critics counter that the law provoked hostility against the LGBTQ community, and targeted students with different sexual orientations and identities.
On Wednesday, Oliva said his department will follow up with the 10 districts to ensure they comply with the BOE’s directives.