Massachusetts sues Florida over parental rights in education law


You’ve probably heard of the Parental Rights in Education Act that recently went into effect in Florida. You’ve also probably heard of the law, signed by Republican Gov. Ron DeSantis, called the “Don’t Say Gay” law.

Regardless of how you’ve heard of the law, it doesn’t prevent anyone from using the word “gay.” The law states that “classroom instruction by school personnel or third parties about sexual orientation or gender identity may not take place in kindergarten through 3rd grade or in a manner that does not is not appropriate for the age or development of the students in accordance with state standards”.

The law also requires that “such procedures reinforce the fundamental rights of parents to make decisions about the education of their children in a specified manner.” Additionally, the law prohibits “school department personnel from discouraging or prohibiting parental notification and involvement in critical decisions affecting a student’s mental, emotional, or physical well-being.”

Nowhere in the law is the use of the word “gay” prohibited. You can read it for yourself.

The White House released a statement saying the legislation is “designed to attack LGBTQ+ children”. President Joe Biden called it a “hate bill.”

Governor DeSantis slammed the law’s reporting as a “false narrative.”

“We’re going to make sure that parents can send their children to kindergarten without having some of these things injected into their curriculum,” he said.

Massachusetts joined 15 other states in filing a multistate amicus brief challenging the law. Attorney General Maura Healey, the Democratic candidate for governor of Massachusetts, called Florida’s law “discriminatory” and “fueled by hate.”

Joining the lawsuit, Healey said the law “is censorship of LGBTQ+ issues at a time when school communities should be creating an inclusive educational environment for all.”

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