Parents’ Bill of Rights signed into law in Florida

LGBTQ youth
Supporters say focus is to bring all parental rights together in a single statute.

Families of Florida school students will now be provided each year with a Parents’ Bill of Rights.

The legislation (HB 241), in the works for several years, has raised concerns among LGBTQ advocacy groups.

But Sen. Ray Rodrigues, an Estero Republican, said the focus of the bill is to bring all parental rights together in a single statute.

The proposal, dubbed a “Parents’ Bill of Rights,” would make clear that state and public schools cannot infringe on the “fundamental rights” of parents to direct the upbringing of their child — extending to decisions about education, health care and mental health.

“What we are doing is putting them in one central location so lay parents can find them,” Rodrigues said.

But several groups expressed fears the legislation would in effect out many children who come out as gay or transgender at school before coming out in their own homes.

“This is a direct attack on transgender and gender-nonconforming Floridians, and the LGBTQ youth in particular,” said Lakey Love of the Florida Coalition for Trans Liberation.

It drew protest from groups like the National PTA and Florida Women’s March.

“It is requiring schools to report all information about students to parents regardless of the climate at home and regardless of consequence that await them there,” said Carrie Feit, of Florida Women’s March.

But bill sponsor Rep. Erin Grall, a Republican, said the focus isn’t on hurting any students, but on making clear parents need all the information about their children, including medical information.

“This bill is about changing the culture, returning the focus to family and empowering the parents and families,” she said.

Under the bill, only a parent could make religious upbringing or health decisions for a child. A parent would have to grant permission for their child to get any type of biometric scan, blood type records or for DNA to be collected. The legislation limits when video can be taken of a child and requires consent from a parent before law enforcement can access education records in most cases.

Jacob Ogles

Jacob Ogles has covered politics in Florida since 2000 for regional outlets including SRQ Magazine in Sarasota, The News-Press in Fort Myers and The Daily Commercial in Leesburg. His work has appeared nationally in The Advocate, Wired and other publications. Events like SRQ’s Where The Votes Are workshops made Ogles one of Southwest Florida’s most respected political analysts, and outlets like WWSB ABC 7 and WSRQ Sarasota have featured his insights. He can be reached at [email protected].


  • Keith Robert Brink

    June 30, 2021 at 3:41 pm

    Wonderful news… Just a shame children would not communicate there thoughts to parents. Parents love, teach morals, and honor are great country. A little old fashioned religion will not hurt as well!

    • Andrew Harris

      July 3, 2021 at 12:43 pm

      I agree this is great news, and as a parent of 2 and a teacher I just have one question. By old fashioned religion I assume you are talking about mine? Judaism? Or one of the older ones like Hinduism or maybe a newer one like Islam?

      • Keith Brink

        July 3, 2021 at 4:54 pm

        what ever works for you my friend,
        good morals and a faith seem to go hand in hand. Do you agree?

        • Andrew Harris

          July 4, 2021 at 5:07 pm

          Yes – thanks for the thought

Comments are closed.


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