Florida kindergarteners to grade threes won’t be taught sex ed at school, after both of the state’s houses approved a “Parental Rights in Education” bill in recent weeks. Awaiting a signature from Governor Ron DeSantis, the new law will come into effect on July 1.
And get this: the wokerati are outraged.
Those inexplicably opposed to the law have run a successful campaign to label it the “Don’t Say Gay” bill. On cue, President Joe Biden tweeted: “I want every member of the LGBTQI+ community — especially the kids who will be impacted by this hateful bill — to know that you are loved and accepted just as you are.”
Like clapping seals, America’s national media has run with the false label and the claim that the bill is anti-LGBT. Yet the controversial clause of the new law is as brief as it is unremarkable:
“‘Classroom instruction by school personnel or third parties on sexual orientation or gender identity may not occur in kindergarten through grade three or in a manner that is not age-appropriate or developmentally appropriate for students in accordance with state standards.”
The bill doesn’t prevent young children from discussing sexuality or gender identity with their parents, or with each other, or even with their teacher for that matter. What’s in view is instruction — namely, classroom curriculum.
Importantly, the law establishes transparency, so that parents remain aware of what is being taught in their child’s classroom, and the nature of conversations their child is having with school staff.
Likewise, the bill doesn’t mention homosexuality, transgenderism or in any way ban the use of the word “gay”. In other words, it does not privilege one type of sexuality over another, as the “Don’t Say Gay” campaign implies. It simply places the burden for teaching young children about sex and gender back where it belongs: under the purview of parents.
And while the controversial clause addresses grades beyond K-3, it actually allows classroom instruction on sexuality and gender identity in higher grades — only at an age-appropriate level.
But oh, the tears woke celebrities cried!
“Disgusting,” said Ariana Grande.
“Ugly,” scoffed Hillary Clinton scoffed.
“Horrible,” cried Billy Jean King.
“Partisan,” claimed Lord of the Rings’ Sean Astin.
“Bigoted,” Sex in the City’s Cynthia Nixon tweeted.
And then there was Luke Skywalker, aka Mark Hamill, with this apparently courageous attempt to put prose to the unutterable:
Then there was the response from Disney — yes, that wonderful, child-friendly entertainment empire — whose woke employees are staging a walkout this week after the company’s CEO failed to condemn the bill quickly enough for their liking.
It is not unusual for celebrities to ride bandwagons, even for slightly unusual causes. But outrage over K-3 kids not receiving sex ed instruction?
A generous reading of the situation is that most pop-commentators have not read or understood what HB1557 is about. The sad reality is that some — perhaps many — comprehend the bill perfectly well, and still wish for the state to step between children and their parents to introduce rainbow sexuality concepts when kids would otherwise be learning the alphabet, phonics and basic maths.
For good reason many commentators have labelled it an anti-grooming bill. (If you are in doubt about this label, spend an hour or so browsing woke teacher videos on Libs of TikTok’s YouTube channel).
Why should young children be exposed to concepts no generation their age has previously been burdened with? And why would teachers feel the need to hide any of this from parents?
Children deserve to be protected from increasing sexualisation. Here in Australia, we should be passing anti-grooming bills too, like Mark Latham’s Parental Rights Bill that has languished for too long on the shelf in New South Wales.
It’s time we let kids be kids again, and if we must, endure the woke outrage to protect them.