Education board to weigh proposal prohibiting instruction on sexual orientation, gender identity
The State Board of Education will weigh a proposal that would largely prohibit instruction about sexual orientation and gender identity in public schools, except in situations such as when the instruction is part of health lessons.
The proposed rule comes after the Legislature and Gov. Ron DeSantis last year approved a controversial law that prohibited instruction about sexual orientation and gender identity in kindergarten through third grade. The law also called for such instruction in higher grades to be “age-appropriate or developmentally appropriate” in accordance with state standards.
The proposed rule would say that educators could “not intentionally provide classroom instruction to students in grades 4 through 12 on sexual orientation or gender identity unless such instruction is either expressly required by state academic standards … or is part of a reproductive health course or health lesson for which a student’s parent has the option to have his or her student not attend.”
Meanwhile, bills (HB 1069 and SB 1320) moving through the Legislature seek to expand on the 2022 law by broadening the prohibition on sexual orientation and gender identity to pre-kindergarten through eighth grade. The State Board of Education will meet at the Capitol.