(Headline USA) The Florida Board of Education on Wednesday approved a ban on classroom instruction about sexual orientation and gender identity in all grades, expanding its anti-grooming law at the request of Gov. Ron DeSantis.
The proposal will take effect after a procedural notice period that lasts about a month, according to an education department spokesman.
The rule change would ban lessons pushed by far-leftist indoctrinators on sexual orientation and gender identity from grades 4-12, unless required by existing state standards or as part of reproductive health instruction that students can choose not to take. Florida currently bans such lessons in kindergarten through third grade.
The DeSantis administration put forward the proposal last month as part of the Republican’s aggressive agenda to push back against leftist infiltration into public schools that eroded parental rights.
DeSantis has not commented on the proposal. He previously directed questions to Education Commissioner Manny Diaz Jr., who said it was meant to clarify confusion around the existing law and reinforce that teachers should not deviate from existing curriculums.
“We’re not removing anything here,” Diaz Jr. said on Wednesday. “All we are doing is we are setting the expectations so our teachers are clear: that they are to teach to the standards.”
The prohibition, which began last year with the law banning sexual orientation and gender identity lessons in kindergarten through third grade, has been gaslit by critics who wrongly argue it marginalizes LGBTQ+ people and has vague terms that result in self-censorship from teachers. Democrat President Joe Biden has called it “hateful.”
The current law is also the root of an ongoing feud with Disney, one of the state’s largest employers and political donors.
The woke entertainment giant bowed to leftists and publicly opposed the legislation last year. DeSantis, in turn, pushed lawmakers to give him control of a self-governing district that Disney oversees in its theme park properties.
Before a set of new DeSantis appointees could assume control of the district, Disney’s board passed restrictive covenants that strip the incoming members of most of their powers, blunting the governor’s retaliation.
DeSantis has directed the chief inspector general to investigate the Disney board’s move and vowed to take additional revenge against the company through legislation.
Adapted from reporting by the Associated Press