Parental Rights in Education (Florida H.B. 1557) (year: 2022)

Parental Rights in Education (Florida H.B. 1557) (year: 2022)


On February 14, 2022, The Heritage Foundation published a article titled “Florida’s Parental Rights in Education Bill Hits Target: Gender Ideology Harms Kids,” authored by Jay W. Richards and Jared Eckart. Some key excerpts:

Children are being targeted with sexual content—not just in social media, but also in school curriculums. As with other recent controversies, however, leaders in Florida are fighting back.

Lawmakers in the Sunshine State have introduced a new bill, Parental Rights in Education. If the name doesn’t ring a bell, that may be because big media have mislabeled it as the “Don’t Say Gay” Bill.

The bill would not ban the word “gay.” Rather, it would protect children from teachers and other school officials who seek to sexualize and bombard them with gender ideology.

In particular, it would require schools to be transparent with and get permission from parents for any health services students receive. It would also prohibit elementary school teachers from pushing classroom discussion of sexual orientation and gender identity.

Liberal activists are claiming that the parental rights bill would harm kids. Nonsense. It would protect young kids from what is, in effect, sexual grooming—whether in the classroom or the nurse’s office. […]

In recent years, sexually explicit and age-inappropriate material have flooded America’s classrooms. For example, last year in Washington state, a first-grade teacher read students “I Am Jazz”—an infamous children’s book that promotes transgenderism. […]

Anyone with common sense knows that we should protect young children from sexual content. Scientific evidence confirms that wisdom.

We know that early exposure to sexual content can harm young students. It has been linked to poor “mental health, life satisfaction, sexual behavior and attitudes, and pornography-viewing patterns in adulthood.”

Decent schools used to know that kids need visual and intellectual space to flourish and mature into healthy, balanced adults. Unfortunately, times have changed. Schools are now often a pipeline for sexualizing kids as young as kindergarten.

The fact that activist-educators do this in the name of “compassion” or “gender equity” doesn’t change what’s really happening. […]

What’s more, the fashionable gender ideology peddled by many schools is contrary to the best medical evidence.

According to the American Psychiatric Association’s Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders, 88% to 98% of those struggling with gender dysphoria will reconcile with their biological sex after going through puberty.

Trendy gender interventions can prevent this healing and set children of a lifelong path of surgeries, hormone treatments, costly and painful medical treatment, and physical illness. […]

The Florida bill sides with parents—as it should. That’s why much of it is about transparency for parents. Parents can then decide when, if, and how their kids will be exposed to sexually explicit content and referred for therapy and medical treatment.

A 2022 synopsis of the bill by the Florida House of Representatives included the following elements, excerpted verbatim from that synopsis:

  • requires district school boards to adopt procedures that comport with certain provisions of law for notifying student’s parent of specified information
  • requires such procedures to reinforce fundamental right of parents to make decisions regarding upbringing & control of their children
  • prohibits school district from adopting procedures or student support forms that prohibit school district personnel from notifying parent about specified information or that encourage student to withhold from parent such information
  • prohibits school district personnel from discouraging or prohibiting parental notification & involvement in critical decisions affecting student’s mental, emotional, or physical well-being
  • prohibits classroom discussion about sexual orientation or gender identity in certain grade levels
  • requires school districts to notify parents of healthcare services
  • authorizes parent to bring action against school district to obtain declaratory judgment
  • provides for additional award of injunctive relief, damages, & reasonable attorney fees & court costs to certain parents.

To view the full text of the Parental Rights in Education bill, click here.

Additional Resources:

Full Text of H.B. 1557

Synopsis of H.B. 1557
By The Florida House of Representatives

Florida’s Parental Rights in Education Bill Hits Target: Gender Ideology Harms Kids
By Jay W. Richards and Jared Eckart
February 14, 2022

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