Amendment To Florida’s “Don’t Say Gay” Bill Forces Teachers To Out LGBTQ Students

Posted February 21, 2022 by with 12 comments

As if Florida’s “Don’t Say Gay” bill weren’t homophobic and dangerous enough (the bill bars school districts from allowing any mention or discussion of LGBTQ issues in classrooms and even school counseling services), Florida is now trying to out-Florida itself by amending their hateful bill to include a requirement that school officials must notify parents if they learn that a student is LGBTQ, regardless of whether or not outing the student could put them in harm’s way or lead to abuse. Forcing teachers or school counselors to out vulnerable children is an evil new low even for Florida, and it’s truly remarkable just how sick and twisted these ass-backwards bigoted motherfuckers are. Via NBC8:

A new amendment to Florida’s so-called “Don’t Say Gay” bill would explicitly require schools to inform parents of their child’s sexual orientation, and put a deadline on how soon they must tell the family.

The amendment filed by bill sponsor Rep. Joe Harding, R-Williston, on Feb. 18 changes the bill to instead not only require disclosure, but requires schools to tell parents within six weeks of learning the student is any sexual orientation other than straight.

Harding originally proposed the legislation, House Bill 1557, on Jan. 11, its first committee vote passed on Jan. 20, though there was heated debate between supporters and opponents among the lawmakers gathered for the hearing.

In the originally filed version, the bill already required schools inform families of their child’s LGBTQ+ status, should the student inform a teacher, counselor or other school personnel. However, it left an option for exemption from disclosure, or “outing” as it’s known, for cases where there was a suspicion of the information leading to abuse, neglect or abandonment.

Based on the amendment’s instruction, that safety mechanism would be removed.

As written, the amendment does not specify how the mental, emotional, and physical well-being of the student would be protected, in cases where previously the proposed bill had found it possible for them to experience abuse, neglect, or abandonment as a result of their LGBTQ+ status being known by their family.

The bill will face a full Florida House vote this week, with 14 amendments to vote in or veto, before it goes to the next step of the legislative process.

One amendment, filed by Rep. Ana Eskamani, D-Orlando, seems aimed directly at the potential negative consequences created by forcibly outing students. If passed with the rest of the bill, the amendment would allow students to sue the Florida Department of Education for damages and attorney fees for causing “irreparable harm” by revealing their sexual orientation.

[NBC8: Amendment to Florida’s ‘Don’t Say Gay’ bill would force schools to out students in 6 weeks]

Given that we’re on the brink of World War III right now, Russia, if you’re listening, you might as well nuke Florida first.