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Florida’s New Law Is Only Bad For People Who Believe Parents Have No Rights Over Their Children

Florida law segment on CNN
Image CreditCNN/YouTube

If you haven’t read the law, read it right now.

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“Queer” activist and Florida student Zander Moricz implored CNN’s audience on Friday to immediately take it upon themselves to read the new parental rights law that has caused so much heartburn among leftists. I can only guess that he’s banking on nobody actually doing it because he went on to mischaracterize all seven pages of the thing (with of course no pushback from the anchor).

“If you haven’t read the bill, go read it right now,” he said, “because the language of the legislation makes it so obvious that despite the title, this has nothing to do with empowering parents. This is about de-empowering and harming queer children.”

Let’s call his bluff!

The full text of the law can be read here in the same amount of time it takes to say “gender dysphoria,” but here are just a few key lines on what it directs public schools to do:

  • “…adopt procedures for notifying a student’s parent if there is a change in the student’s services or monitoring related to the student’s mental, emotional, or physical health or well-being and the school’s ability to provide a safe and supportive learning environment for the student.”
  • “…not prohibit parents from accessing any of their student’s education and health records created, maintained, or used by the school district.”
  • “…encourage a student to discuss issues relating to his or her well-being with his or her parent or to facilitate discussion of the issue with the parent.”
  • “…notify parents of each healthcare service offered at their student’s school and the option to withhold consent or decline any specific service.”

In essence, the language affirms a parent’s right to control and be fully informed about the health and development of his or her child. That means if a school plans to give out hormone replacement drugs, they’re going to need parental consent (a radical concept, I know).

On CNN, Moricz fretted that the law would prohibit “queer” children from coming out as non-heterosexual to their teachers. That impression — to the extent that it’s an honest one — appears to come from some notion that requiring schools to provide parents with total access to their own children’s health records could potentially mean “outing” students to family members before they’re ready to do so. But to the contrary, the law explicitly protects students from that very scenario.

From page four: The law “does not prohibit a school district from adopting procedures that permit school personnel to withhold such information from a parent if a reasonably prudent person would believe that disclosure would result in abuse, abandonment, or neglect…”

I didn’t know that until I read the text. Thanks for the tip, Zander!

Moricz also suggested that the law works to prevent gay and transgender students from expressing their identities, raising the question: Has he read it?

I assume this is the part on page four that Moricz, like so many other leftists, is taking exception with: “Classroom instruction by school personnel or third parties on sexual orientation or gender identity may not occur in kindergarten through grade 3 or in a manner that is not age appropriate or developmentally appropriate for students…”

In other words, teachers are instructed not to discuss topics related to sex with children up to grade 3, and anything else needs to be “age appropriate,” as determined by the school board.

If it’s not blatant dishonesty, then it’s confusion on the part of Moricz and many in the media; this law does not apply to students. It’s for teachers and other faculty. The kids can say whatever they want about being gay, “queer,” transgender, etc. No one is going to stop them. And nothing in the law prohibits a teacher from having private discussions with students on the subject anyway.

To recap, the law requires schools to provide parents with any and all information related to their child’s well-being, to protect students who may be in harm’s way at home, and to knock it off with the sex talk until at least the fourth grade.

If it’s a great imposition that now a Florida teacher doesn’t get to explain to 6-year-olds what it means to have a “trans fem” partner, Moricz and his peers should feel free to make the case for why it’s imperative that teachers have that right. (Spoiler: It’s not! Try teaching math instead.)

Moricz is right about one thing, though. If you haven’t read the law, go read it right now.