Florida Governor Ron DeSantis has approved a bill prohibiting schools from requiring students and teachers to use preferred pronouns.
The Let Kids be Kids bill package, backed by Senator Clay Yarborough and Representative Stan McClain, contains SB 254, which outlaws the permanent mutilation of minors. This includes surgical procedures and puberty blockers. With the passing of this law, Florida courts can stop procedures for out-of-state children.
The bill package also contains HB 1069, which removes “pronoun politics” and expands the Parental Rights in Education bill. The new law prevents students and teachers from being forced to use pronouns inconsistent with their biological sex or disclose their own pronouns.
The law bars schools from mandating the use of gender-inconsistent pronouns for employment, enrollment, or program participation. It further states that a school employee cannot ask students to provide preferred pronouns, nor can they face retaliation or discrimination for not sharing this information.
This legislation is part of Florida’s broader push to increase transparency in school district adoption of educational materials. It requires district boards to monitor content in classroom libraries and instructional and library materials. Any inappropriate or explicit materials must be removed from the school promptly upon objection.
The law also expands the existing ban on teaching sexual orientation and gender identity from K-3 to PreK-8. For grades 9-12, any instruction concerning sexual orientation and gender identity must be age-appropriate. DeSantis emphasized the need to focus on core subjects like math, reading, and science.
Following the signing of the law, Governor DeSantis said, “Florida is proud to lead the way in standing up for our children. As the world goes mad, Florida represents a refuge of sanity and a citadel of normalcy.”
Manny Diaz, Jr., the Commissioner of Education, said, “Today’s actions make it clear – educators in Florida are expected to teach our standards, not interject their own opinions or worldview into the classroom. The Department will remain focused on teaching students core subjects, rather than woke gender ideology or inappropriate topics.”