Monday, July 04, 2022

Funeral March

On Friday the “Don’t Say Gay” went in to affect and sadly the First Amendment and Fourteenth Amendment were thrown out the window.

As Florida's 'Don't Say Gay' law takes effect, schools roll out LGBTQ restrictions
Some school officials have been accused of warning teachers not to wear rainbow articles of clothing and to remove pictures of their same-sex spouses from their desks.
NBC News
By Matt Lavietes
June 30, 2022

As Florida’s Parental Rights in Education law — or what critics have dubbed the “Don’t Say Gay” law — goes into effect Friday, some of the state’s public school districts have begun rolling out new policies to limit LGBTQ issues and identities from being discussed in the classroom.

On Tuesday night, the Leon County School Board unanimously approved its “LGBTQ Inclusive School Guide,” which includes a provision to alert parents if a student who is “open about their gender identity” is in their child’s physical education class or with them on an overnight school trip.

“Upon notification or determination of a student who is open about their gender identity, parents of the affected students will be notified of reasonable accommodation options available,” the guidelines read. “Parents or students who have concerns about rooming assignments for their student’s upcoming overnight event based on religious or privacy concerns may request an accommodation.”

Where to begin?

This is wrong in so many legal ways it is hard to begin.

In a NBC News opinion…

Florida's anti-gay bill is wrong. It's also unconstitutional.
The extraordinary vagueness of what critics call the "Don't Say Gay" bill could have a chilling effect on the free speech rights of LGBTQ teachers and students.
By Daniel Putnam, Furman Scholar at New York University School of Law
March 28, 2022

On Monday, Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis signed into law the Parental Rights in Education bill. Dubbed the “Don’t Say Gay” bill by its critics, HB 1557 contains a crucial provision that may seem harmless on its face — but it undermines the fundamental free speech and due process rights of Florida teachers, students and families.


However, a moment’s reflection reveals just how vague these prohibitions are. Nowhere does HB 1557 define its operative terms: “instruction,” “on sexual orientation,” “on … gender identity,” “appropriate” or “third parties.”

For example, if a teacher who happens to be gay mentions her wife by name when describing what she did with her family over winter break, thereby expressing the fact that she’s married to a woman, does that count as “instructing” students “on sexual orientation”? What if a teacher — gay or straight — assigns a math problem that mentions that “Sally has two moms”? For that matter, if a second grader with two dads draws a picture of her family and shares it with her classmates, does that constitute a “third party” providing the verboten instruction?


The chilling effect HB 1557 could underscore the core harm it poses: the burden on the free speech rights of LGBTQ teachers and students. Over the years, courts have consistently recognized that LGBTQ students and teachers have a basic First Amendment right to express who they are without being subjected to legal sanctions.

Indeed, as far back as 1974, federal courts have recognized the right of LGBTQ students to form campus associations and organize social events. More recently, courts have recognized that the right to free speech protects the right of trans students to present as who they are in school. Furthermore, federal courts have recognized since the 1990s that the First Amendment prohibits schools from firing teachers just for mentioning in class the fact of their being gay.

Education Week had this to say,

It also claims that the Parental Rights in Education bill violates students’, teachers’, and parents’ 14th Amendment rights by violating the equal protection clause, because LGBTQ students or families will be treated differently based on their sexual orientation or gender identity.


Teachers are worried about what they can or can’t teach regarding LGBTQ topics, gender identity, and sexual orientation. Students are concerned their campus groups, such as Gay-Straight Alliances, might soon be banned. And same-sex parents are worried that their children might be bullied and ostracized because of the parents’ sexual orientation.

A 17-year-old sophomore who is part of a Gay-Straight Alliance at his school, was told by his GSA advisor that she could potentially lose her job for adjusting pronouns to respect a student’s gender identity, the lawsuit said.

The same student said in the lawsuit [Equality Florida filed a lawsuit against the state] that in his creative writing class, he wrote about his sexual identity and orientation. After the law was passed, he does not know if he can continue writing about those topics.

Okay lets stop and think about the students, what message does it send to them?

For the LGBTQ+ students it sends a message that they aren’t normal, that they cannot discuss things about their lives like all the other students.

For students of LGBTQ+ parents it sends a message that their parents are somehow dirty and can’t be talked about.

For non-LGBTQ+ students it send a message that they are superior and can pick on LGBTQ+ students with impunity.

And then there is the Supreme Court… what do you think they will rule when the cases get to them?

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