DUVAL COUNTY, Fla. – More than 100 Duval County parents weighed in on the heated debate over LGBTQ+ discussions in schools Tuesday at the Duval County School Board.
How Duval County Public Schools is utilizing the Parental Rights in Education law, dubbed “Don’t Say Gay” by its critics, is causing a stir.
“We bring the education to them, not the schools,” Tatyana Solonskyi, a Parental Rights in Education law supporter, said.
“Schools are one of the safest spaces we have for them and we have to protect them,” Lauren Aycock, who disagrees with the “Don’t Say Gay” law said.
The law prohibits classroom instruction on sexual orientation or gender identity in kindergarten through third grade.
Last month, a resolution was submitted, asking the board to publicly state if it supports Governor DeSantis’ Parental Rights in Education Bill he signed into law. The resolution was tabled.
Several people spoke out during the meeting, asking the board to reconsider.
“I implore you to pass the resolution on the Parents Right and put these children above your own political agenda,” said one speaker.
“Let parents parent their children. Do not interfere with that,” Mark Anderson, co-Pastor of Momentum Church, said.
Following the new law, the district began revising its DCPS LGBTQ+ Support Guide. It serves as a guideline for how district staff handles school-based LGBTQ+ scenarios.
One change discussed includes notifying parents if students request changing their name or pronouns on unofficial documents like yearbooks or team rosters.
Some feel the guide is unnecessary, while others say the changes are harmful to LGBTQ+ students.
“By Duval County Schools editing this guide down to the very nubs, our students are losing access to the school environment that they deserve,” said one parent.
“I see that you’re not protecting the students unless you mean every cis-heterosexual student,” Ariel David, who is a parent and a teacher, said.
It’s unclear if the board will discuss voting on the resolution again.
The district is in the process of revising the LGBTQ+ support guide. Officials say it could be released this summer.