The Florida Department of Education is moving forward with a new regulation requiring school districts to adopt policies requiring parents to be notified about lodging details on overnight field trips.
Specifically, “whether room assignments for overnight lodging will be separated by biological sex at birth.”
The department published a proposed rule Monday that would install the requirement in field trip parental notification forms, along with other details, such as “the nature of the field trip, the dates and times, specific locations and types of establishments to be visited, modes of transportation and method of student supervision provided, such as anticipated number of chaperones.”
Districts would also have to include policies for “accommodations or modifications in order to ensure that all eligible students have the opportunity to participate in the field trip.”
The rule would also apply to extracurricular activities and other supplemental programs. A workshop on the proposed rule will be held at 9 a.m. Aug. 17 at the Pensacola State College Switzer Center for Visual Arts.
The rule is part of the department’s task to align its policies with the state’s Parental Bill of Rights law passed in 2021.
The DOE must also make new rules to match its policies with the Parental Rights in Education law passed earlier this year, which opponents dubbed the “Don’t Say Gay” measure, and which bans classroom instruction on sexual orientation or gender identity in kindergarten through third grade “or in a manner that is not age-appropriate.” The law also allows parents to sue a school if the law is violated. DOE’s rulemaking involved in that law, however, is yet to begin.
Two LGBTQ rights groups, Equality Florida and Family Equality, filed suit in federal court in March, arguing the law is unconstitutional. Attorney General Ashley Moody filed a motion asking U.S. District Judge Allen Winsor to throw out the case last month.
Under the law, the department is required to review and update “school counseling frameworks and standards; educator practices and professional conduct principles and any other student services personnel guidelines” to align with the new law by June 30, 2023.