Williston rep. pushes amendment to Florida's 'Don't Say Gay' bill that would force schools to out students to parents

click to enlarge Williston rep. pushes amendment to Florida's 'Don't Say Gay' bill that would force schools to out students to parents
Photo via Joe Harding/Twitter

A Florida legislator is looking to make the state's proposed "Don't Say Gay" bill a little bit more cruel. State House Rep. Joe Harding is pushing an amendment that would force schools to out children to their parents.

Harding, who represents a district that runs from Cedar Key to Ocala, is proposing a sort of mediation session between students, their parents and school administrators. The bill would give the school six weeks from the time they learn a student identifies as LGBTQ to set up a meeting between the three parties. If it doesn't happen, the parents will have the ability to sue the school for not informing them.

Calling it a "forced outing" isn't reading malice into the proposed amendment. The amendment overrides language that would have allowed educators to keep students' sexual orientation in confidence if they feared the knowledge would lead to abuse or neglect.

Harding is the bill's sponsor in the House, and has defended the bill that President Joe Biden called "hateful." Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis has backed the bill as part of a larger push toward what he calls "transparency" in schools.

“We want parents to be able to have access to what’s going on in the classroom. And certainly it is inappropriate to be hiding these things from parents,” the governor said.




Stay on top of Central Florida news and views with our weekly newsletters, and consider supporting this free publication. Our small but mighty team is working tirelessly to bring you Central Florida news, and every little bit helps.

About The Author

Scroll to read more Orlando Area News articles
Join the Orlando Weekly Press Club

Local journalism is information. Information is power. And we believe everyone deserves access to accurate independent coverage of their community and state.
Help us keep this coverage going with a one-time donation or an ongoing membership pledge.

Newsletters

Join Orlando Weekly Newsletters

Subscribe now to get the latest news delivered right to your inbox.