White House: Feds to monitor anti-LGBTQ discrimination resulting from new law

Pride-Rainbow-Flag-Gay-LBGTQ-
Ron DeSantis' campaign says the Joe Biden administration continues to lie about the law.

A law that more tightly regulates discussion of gender identity and sexual orientation in classrooms went into effect Friday, producing another dust-up between Ron DeSantis and the feds.

The White House and the U.S. Education Department issued a statement calling the law discriminatory and bullying against LGBTQ youth and asked for violations of federal law to be reported to the Civil Rights Office of the U.S. DOE.

DeSantis’ campaign then issued its own statement saying President Joe Biden’s administration “continues to lie” about the law.

The Parental Rights in Education Law (HB 1557) — which critics have dubbed the “Don’t Say Gay” measure — prohibits discussions of gender identity and sexual orientation that are not “age appropriate.”

The law has already spawned a lawsuit from LGBTQ advocacy groups who argue the law was discriminatory and the product of “animus” towards the state’s LGBTQ community. It also prompted Republicans to return their donations from Disney after the media giant said it would work to reverse the law.

And now the U.S. Department of Education (DOE) and the U.S. Secretary of Education have issued a BOLO for civil right violations in Florida schools resulting from the new law.

The legislation already is changing the atmosphere in Florida’s schools, said White House Press Secretary Karine Jean-Pierre. Pierre cited reports that teachers were being told not to dress in rainbow colors, to scrape off “safe space” classroom stickers and take down any family photos with husband and wives.

“Today, some of Florida’s most vulnerable students and families are more fearful and less free,” Jean-Pierre’s statement reads. “As the state’s shameful ‘Don’t Say Gay’ law takes effect, state officials who claim to champion liberty are limiting the freedom of their fellow Americans simply to be themselves.

She was citing reports from Orange County Schools that appeared in publications Thursday. Other media reports showed the law resulted in new policies in Leon and Palm Beach counties that affect the whole system.  

But DeSantis’ campaign says the law the Governor signed March 28 is protecting children, emphasizing the law explicitly mentions children in kindergarten through third grade. The law also prohibits discussions that are not “age-appropriate.”

“The White House continues to lie about Florida’s work to protect children as young as five years old from sexualized lesson plans,” DeSantis campaign spokeswoman Lindsey Curnutte told Fox News Digital in an exclusive statement Friday.

“Gov. DeSantis’s pro-parent education agenda stands in stark contrast to the policies coming out of Washington as Joe Biden tries to steal lunch money from our kids to push woke gender ideology. As a father of three young children, Gov. DeSantis is committed to putting students first and protecting parents’ rights, and no false White House statement will change that.”

A question about the reports about how the law was being put into practice in the state’s schools went unaddressed Friday.

U.S. Secretary of Education Miguel Cardona said he was disheartened that the law went into effect. It’s “part of a dangerous trend” of legislation across the country, he argued.

“It put Florida students in danger of bullying and worse mental health outcomes,” Cardona wrote. “The Biden-(Kamala) Harris administration will continue to fight for dignity, opportunity, and the protection of civil rights for every student and family.”

Cardona’s statement contains a link for families to address any problems they see.

“The U.S. Department of Education’s Office for Civil Rights stands ready, and as always, any student who believes they are experiencing discrimination, including harassment, at school or any parent or caregiver who is concerned that their child is experiencing discrimination, is encouraged to file a complaint with our office,” he wrote.

Anne Geggis

Anne Geggis is a South Florida journalist who began her career in Vermont and has worked at the Sun-Sentinel, the Daytona Beach News-Journal and the Gainesville Sun covering government issues, health and education. She was a member of the Sun-Sentinel team that won the 2019 Pulitzer Prize for coverage of the Parkland high school shooting. You can reach her on Twitter @AnneBoca or by emailing [email protected]


13 comments

  • The Elephant in the Room

    July 1, 2022 at 4:53 pm

    Floridians worried about the overbearing, oppressive federal government persistently working to divide children from their parents needs to remember this at election time. Soundly chastising Democrats on election day is the ONLY chance we have to preserve our freedoms, and we dare not miss it.

    • They hate you

      July 2, 2022 at 10:21 pm

      You won’t have those kids after they disown you for being a bad parent lol

      • Bet Terthandat

        July 5, 2022 at 2:53 pm

        But at least they will be alive. Better the children live because of what they think was hateful than that they die for the sake of some high flown concept of personal privilege.

  • ScienceBLVR

    July 1, 2022 at 5:21 pm

    Floridians should be more aware of how our governor is stripping away their freedoms and vow to elect more Democrats who believe in preserving rights for all citizens, not just old white guys who live in the Villages. DeSantis and his authortarian regime have not only bullied high schoolers for their choice to wear masks, teachers and university professors who believe in presenting facts, not right wing religious rhetoric, parents who want to vaccinate their children, women who want the right to their wombs, companies who want to exercise free speech rights, I mean the hits go on and on. It seems the Republicans are at war with all human autonomy and personal choice. If you believe in freedom and equal rights, Vote Blue state and federal!

    • Antonio

      July 1, 2022 at 7:05 pm

      Again, it seems you do not know what the word authoritarian means. How is he stripping our freedoms? We are one of the most free states in this entire country. I travel around the country for work, believe me, Florida is doing amazingly well under Desantis’ leadership. No high school kid was “bullied” about masks (he knew a lot of those kids were told to wear the masks and he literally said wear them if you want them), parents are free to vaccinate their children if they wish to do so, women can abort up to 15 weeks (that is more than three months….let’s face it, after that you are KILLING a viable child), companies can still exercise their free speech, and on and on. Florida is doing GREAT under Desantis. Perhaps if you weren’t such a tribalist you would see that. Because the regular people like myself that are not die-hards of either party can clearly see the good he’s doing and will continue to do

      • Joe Corsin

        July 11, 2022 at 10:46 am

        ^ Victim of far right propaganda. Needs inpatient psychiatric treatment immediately.

    • Sherry Cook Lenti

      July 9, 2022 at 10:17 am

      Bull it is the liberals taking rights away friend.
      And costing us more not only in Taxations, especially in unnecessary taxes. Not ones that are for the good of us all a a whole commuity… liberals cost us more goods and services as well friend..
      Human rights are a given…..
      The right to live belongs to all.
      Maybe I need reminders.of how delicate we have to exercise freedom of speech. The one greatest skill of our Governor is his honesty, directness willingness to teach or explain his reasoning on all matters. A leader with those very ingredients are 99% likely to be that honest and trust worthy…
      I was unsure how I felt about him at first. But Watching him closely like I had President Trump I totally turned 360.And totally the opposite and I really like and trust him and his policies.ive always been more conservative. I think we owe our Governor our trust.and loyalty to his re eleciont and given chances to make it happen for Florida…

      I just observe and check in..

  • Richard Bruce

    July 1, 2022 at 9:47 pm

    Biden Admin is excellent at monitoring. They monitor hundreds of thousands of illegals crossing our borders. They monitor inflation. They monitor low supply chains. They monitor increasing crime. What the Biden Admin isn’t good at is the right thing at the right time.

  • Facts Are Stubborn things

    July 2, 2022 at 10:07 am

    Biden is the worst POTUS ever.

    So the Feds want teachers in public schools to discuss sex and altering the gender you were born with with 5-8 year olds children? You can’t make this stuff up. The Democrats are a very morally sick group of people.

    They need to review how (R) Glen Younkin became the Governor of Virginia against a sitting D incumbent.

    DeSantis will be President one day because he understands individual liberties and unapologetically guards those rights given to Americans in the US Constitution.

  • Tom

    July 2, 2022 at 11:59 am

    Hello my conservative brothers, proud of Antonio, Richard and facts.

    Happy Fourth, Independence Day!
    Very well said, thank you for pointing to the Dem, Dum hypocrisy. Mis believer misleads regularly.

    DeSantis is protecting and advocating for all Floridians. DeSantis has defended freedom, he has expanded liberty and justice for all, not a few like mis believer advocates.

    The people’s of Florida celebrate Independence Day, our fourth with great anticipation and joy!

    Something special is taking place in Florida. A new model of govt. Gov with courage, conviction, principle, love of country, family, side off the people’s. The youngest Gov in America, the whiz kid example through Covid.

    Do for America what you’ve done for Florida.
    We must support the Gov, God bless his family, and strengthen him.

    Happy Fourth.

    • Coming back

      July 2, 2022 at 10:23 pm

      The only thing special in Florida is Casey’s cancer lol

      • Tom

        July 4, 2022 at 7:38 am

        Gross, disgusting, mentally ill bastard.
        Casey and Ron, humility, class, servants, love of family, country, and people’s.

        Floridians love their example and America will next. Bless them both!

  • JOE CORSIN

    July 11, 2022 at 10:48 am

    DeSantis collaborated with ISIS against coalition forces in Iraq… raped a dead woman. Vote Crist for governor…

Comments are closed.


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