DeSantis Hails Parental Rights Act Court Victory

A court ruling concludes a multi-year legal issue between Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis (R), the Florida State Board of Education and several progressive groups emboldened by the Biden administration.

In March 2022, DeSantis led the state to adopt the Parental Rights in Education Act. The bill, CS/CS/HB 1557, prohibits sexual orientation instruction for kindergarten through third-grade students.

The bill also banned instruction on gender identity for fourth through 12th-grade students “if it is deemed not age-appropriate or developmentally appropriate for students.”

The authors of the bill designed it to affirm parental rights. An excerpt reads: “The Parental Rights in Education [Act will] reinforce the fundamental right of parents to make decisions regarding upbringing & control of their children.”

The bill provides parents will legal recourse if teachers or administrators disregard bill mandates. An excerpt reads: “Parents are authorized to bring action against the school district to obtain declaratory judgment … [and] additional award of injunctive relief, damages, & reasonable attorney fees & court costs to certain parents.”

Last March, DeSantis moved to expand the provisions stipulated in the bill.

Many legacy media outlets and progressive government leaders blasted the bill as condoning prejudice and marginalizing the vulnerable.

Dubiously dubbed the “Don’t Say Gay” Act, critics charged DeSantis and Republican officials with harboring anti-LGBT views. President Biden called the bill “hateful.” Chasten Buttigieg, husband of the Secretary of Transportation, Pete Buttigieg, told NBC the bill “will kill kids.”

Critics assert that DeSantis and Florida’s State Board of Education overstepped their authority in determining what content teachers could present in federally funded schools.

DeSantis, however, has staunchly defended the bill. He has called critics “misinformed” and challenged reporters to refrain from making salacious and false claims.

The National Pulse reported the bill has inspired several other states — including Alabama, Arkansas, Indiana, Iowa, Kentucky and North Carolina — to adopt similar measures.

After two years of hearings and deliberation, the court has ruled that the “letter of the law” in the bill will stand. However, the Associated Press clarified the ruling allows teachers to entertain “discussions on sexual orientation and gender identity outside of instruction content.”

Both LGBT groups and DeSantis hail the decision as a victory.

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