Earlier this year, Republican Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis signed a bill designed to prevent educators from introducing sexually themed or explicit topics in early elementary curriculum while providing parents with more input in the educational system.
While critics denounced the measure as the “Don’t Say Gay” bill, proponents saw it as a necessary step toward forestalling the troubling trend of injecting leftist cultural themes into compulsory schoolwork.
For one such supporter, DeSantis’ plan does not go far enough. GOP state Senate President Kathleen Passidomo recently indicated that she wants to see the Parental Rights in Education law expanded to cover higher grades.
As it stands, the law only impacts kindergarten through third grade.
“I am a parent,” Passidomo said in defense of her proposal. “Of course, my kids are older, but I want to know what is going on in schools, and I want to be able to be consulted.”
She went on to assert that “schools are not supposed to be raising our kids,” which was an underlying factor in the passage of the Parental Rights in Education bill.
The state lawmaker believes that even after third grade, students are not mature enough to process complex themes about sexuality and gender identity, which is why she wants to expand the law’s protection to middle school.
“The one thing that I think could be looked at is we ended it at grades 1 through 3,” Passidomo said. “I don’t think I’d be supportive of high school because kids in high school are hopefully a little bit more mature, at least, they should be. But, you know, middle school, maybe going to 6th grade or something like that.”
When DeSantis signed the current bill into law in March, he defended its protections against critics who attempted to portray it as anti-LGBTQ.
Governor DeSantis responds to Disney's regrets about fighting him on parental rights: "They brought this on themselves. Yes, they are a big powerful company, but we stand up for our folks. And I don't care what a Burbank-based California company says about our laws." pic.twitter.com/5kYFTjUkhh
— American Firebrand (@AmFirebrand) November 30, 2022
“Parents’ rights have been increasingly under assault around the nation, but in Florida, we stand up for the rights of parents and the fundamental role they play in the education of their children,” he said at the time. “Parents have every right to be informed about services offered to their child at school, and should be protected from schools using classroom instruction to sexualize their kids as young as 5 years old.”