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The Student News Site of West Boca Raton High School

The West Boca Bullseye

The Student News Site of West Boca Raton High School

The West Boca Bullseye

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Florida’s Expansion of Parental Rights in Education

Childrenś drawing that are teaching the correct pronouns by labeling the drawing in the dress a female.
Childrenś drawing that are teaching the correct pronouns by labeling the drawing in the dress a female.

 

   A new law passed in Florida directly affects interactions between teachers and students within our schools. It is called House Bill 1069, and a section of it restricts how pronouns are to be used in educational institutions.  For example, teachers are not allowed to ask students to provide pronouns, call them by other pronouns, or be allowed to tell students their pronouns if they do not correspond with the person’s biological sex.  There can be no requirement of an individual to refer to a person with a pronoun that does not reflect their biological sex. It is also not allowed for someone to be treated badly for not providing certain pronouns. The bill expands on what materials students are allowed to have access to, and broadens parent’s power in their child’s education. For example, the bill states that schools are to notify parents of changes with their children and encourage students to talk to their parents about an issue.   This bill is an amendment  to the Parental Rights in Education Bill that Florida already passed. Legislation of this kind is part of a current trend in Florida. 

   House Bill 1069 is only one part of a larger push in Florida being fought with legislation. There has been a fair amount of controversial legislation passed in Florida lately. In 2022 it was the Parental Rights in Education Bill; the bill was very quickly nicknamed the “Don’t Say Gay Bill.” There were people, and still are people, who say that certain Florida legislation, such as the bill mentioned above, is anti – LGBTQ +. Recently the Parental Rights in Education Bill’s section that stated that children kindergarten through third grade cannot have instruction on topics of sexual orientation or gender identity, has been expanded to pre – kindergarten through 8th grade. Content that has to do with these topics, as it relates to the age – appropriateness of the material, has to be reviewed and approved by the Department of Education under House Bill 1069. 

   There were more than two-hundred laws that went into effect on July 1, 2023. There have been multiple bills within this group that address gender identity and sexual orientation. For example, bill HB 1521 that says that you cannot go into a bathroom or locker room that does not correspond to your biological sex. Governor Desantis is concerned with the welfare of children, and sees what some call accepting and affirming, as predatory and harmful. Bill SB 254 makes it a crime for doctors to perform surgeries or give hormones and puberty blockers to people under the age of eighteen. There are some that would consider these actions as gender affirming care while Governor Desantis sees it as mutilation. 

   The issues of providing hormones, surgery, or puberty blockers to individuals under eighteen is a very relevant topic of discussion, and not just in America. There are people who have raised the issue of the reasonableness of adults undergoing this kind of care, let alone children. There is even controversy in the community of people who have had “gender affirming” surgery and have taken hormones or puberty blockers. For example, there are doctors being sued for providing this care by people who received it. There are people speaking out that were a part of the LGBTQ + community stating that the surgeries or hormones were a mistake and they should have been better protected. There are others that still fully support and advocate for these surgeries and hormones. 

    Despite it being part of a trend, House Bill 1069 is different. This is because it dictates what you can and cannot say. It is a step even further than the other bills related to sexual identity or gender orientation. Students can call each other whatever they want, but interactions between teachers, or contractors working for the school, and students are limited under this new legislation. The part of the bill that discusses hormones is not the only topic addressed. The content of this bill is seen as a further expansion of parents’ rights in education, and a part of a larger issue of trust between parents and educational institutions.

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Emma Lawman
Emma Lawman, Reporter
My name is Emma Lawman and I am a Senior. This is my second year being a member of The Bullseye staff. I love writing and that is the main reason I joined The Bullseye last year. I don’t limit myself to just one topic of writing. In fact, I plan on covering politics, current events, and conservation. One of the careers I am considering is being an author, so being a reporter for the newspaper is also a way to improve my writing skills.
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