Tuesday, September 26, 2023

Fla. Tells Schools to Disregard Biden Admin’s Transgender Demands, Threats

'To the extent that you do any of these things, you jeopardize the safety and wellbeing of Florida students and risk violating Florida law...'

(Ezekiel Loseke, Headline USA) Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis’s administration warned woke educators not to allow the Biden administration to dictate education policy following threats that it might attempt to withhold federal funding under the pretense of Title IX noncompliance. 

State Education Commissioner Manny Diaz released a two-page memo responding to letters issued by Biden’s departments of Education and Agriculture, which dictated that schools must treat transgender students as their preferred gender or risk losing school-lunch money, among other things.

“The Department will not stand idly by as federal agencies attempt to impose a sexual ideology on Florida schools that risk the health, safety, and welfare of Florida students,” Diaz wrote, according to Politico.

The education commissioner noted, however, that these demands were nonbinding and were not supported by any actual federal laws, while potentially violating state law.

“[N]othing in these guidance documents requires you to give biological males who identify as female access to female bathrooms, locker-room, or dorms; to assign biological males who identify as females to female rooms on school field trips; or to allow biological males who identify as female to compete on female sports teams,” Diaz clarified.

The memo informed the schools, “to the extent that you do any of these things, you jeopardize the safety and wellbeing of Florida students and risk violating Florida law.”

Diaz also expressed concern for the rights of parents, writing, “the Department will do everything in its power … to vindicate the right of all parents to know what takes place in their child’s classroom.”

DeSantis’s Florida has a long history of challenging wokeness and its social pressures:

  • In April, the governor refused to comply with federal “guidance” to provide “gender affirming treatment” to children and challenged the state’s claims that such “treatment” was healthy.
  • DeSantis has long resisted federal coronavirus mandates after health officials pressured many states to impose draconian lockdowns and regulations that, scientifically and economically speaking, did more harm than good.
  • Florida passed its anti-grooming bill earlier this year and took punitive action against Disney for its partisan efforts to undermine the state law.
  • DeSantis signed a bill giving police officers who move to Florida a bonus while many blue states were threatening to cut law-enforcement budgets as part of the “defund the police” movement.
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