Florida families react to Parental Rights in Education bill

'They are trying to make something illegal that doesn't exist right now,' Compass Center director says
Florida DeSantis
Posted at 10:30 PM, Mar 28, 2022
and last updated 2022-03-28 23:57:02-04

LAKE WORTH BEACH, Fla. — Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis signed the Parental Rights in Education bill, also known as the "Don't Say Gay" bill by critics, into law.

The policy forbids instruction of sexual orientation and gender identity in classrooms before the fourth grade.

DeSantis said he will make sure parents can send their children to school to get an education and not indoctrination, while some parents believe it's a political stunt.

Merquis Sabis pulls a stroller out of the back of his SUV. As a parent, he's well aware of DeSantis signing the bill into law.

"I kind of do support him. I feel like it's kind of right," he said.

Sabis said it has no place in the classroom.

"I feel that we should leave that up to the parents, for the parents to discuss that with their children," he said.

Adrienne Percival is the development director at the Compass Community Center in Lake Worth Beach. She has a daughter that identifies in the LGBTQ+ community and calls the bill dangerous.

"They are trying to make something illegal that doesn't exist right now," she said. "There is not a statewide curriculum for K-3 that's about sexual orientation, gender expression, gender identity."

She feels the bill can do nothing but harm to kids looking for acceptance and support.

"If the messaging that you are getting from your school and your family is that who you are isn't OK, that just triggers more self-loathing, more self-harm, more acting out, and it could very well prevent you from ever being able to connect with your community," she said.

The law takes effect on July 1 and is expected to face legal challenges.