DeSantis Surrounds Himself With Happy Cis White Kids To Celebrate Bill Kicking Everyone Else
Filthy, bullying sumbitches.
If you ever think that one person can't make a difference in this big, cruel world ... turns out Florida's "Don't Say Gay" Bill was started by one really shitty parent. See, back in September a middle schooler in Tallahassee told their mom, January Littlejohn, that they might be non-binary and would like to go by a different name. And instead of saying, "Sweetheart, Daddy and I love you, and we will always support you no matter what," like a decent human being , she said, "No." Littlejohn refused to call her child by their preferred name, and only allowed the kid to go by a nickname at school, according to Politico , which broke the story this morning.
So far, so shitty, right?
But then the school had the temerity to ask the student which restroom was appropriate for them to use. At which point, all hell broke loose, because January Littlejohn wasn't going to put up with educators treating her non-binary child with respect, so she sued Leon County schools for supposedly helping her child "transition" against her wishes, and then launched herself at the legislature with the aid of the Child & Parental Rights Campaign. So now it's illegal to even mention to children that gay families exist in the state of Florida.
“When you listen to January tell her story about what they did with her child, without her knowledge or consent, I don’t think there’s very many parents in the state of Florida that think that’s OK,” Governor Ron DeSantis said yesterday when he enshrined the bigoted bill into law. “I can tell you I don’t think that’s okay.”
So now schools have to get parents' permission to let kids use the restroom appropriate for their gender identity, and educators are required to tell parents about changes to services for a student's “mental, emotional, or physical health or well-being." Which is slightly less worse than an older version of the bill that required schools to out students if they admitted to being gay or transgender ... but it still sucks a lot.
Also, from a legal perspective, this bill is garbage. Aside from the obvious First Amendment issues in content-based regulation of speech, the bill is larded with vague phrasing. What does it mean that "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"? If a gay teacher is married and expecting a child, will that teacher risk a lawsuit if she tells students she's going on parental leave? And if a gay teacher isn't permitted to acknowledge her family, then it's clearly discriminatory to allow straight teachers to talk about their families as well.
And who is this "reasonably prudent person" who will decide that disclosing a child's health information to their parent will result in abuse? Because it seems pretty likely that the very parents who are most likely to abuse a child are also the ones who have just been empowered to sue the school for something innocuous like, say, asking which bathroom is appropriate for a child to use. And that is the entire point of this law. As with Texas's abortion ban, it makes individual parents responsible for enforcing it through lawsuits , and so teachers and schools will police themselves by refusing to provide support to the gay and trans kids with shit parents — i.e. the ones who most need acceptance and help — and will censor all LGBT content in an effort to avoid litigation.
“The bill’s intentionally vague language leaves teachers afraid to talk to their students and opens up school districts to costly and frivolous litigation from those seeking to exclude LGBTQ people from any grade level,” state Rep. Carlos G. Smith told the AP . “Even worse, #DontSayGay sends a hateful message to our most vulnerable youth who simply need our support.”
Meanwhile, there's been massive pushback from students themselves who keep rejecting the ministrations of DeSantis and mothers like January Littlejohn, staging walkouts and waving signs saying "We say gay."
Pembroke Pines Charter High School had a massive walkout to protest the "Don't Say Gay" bill in Florida, with students chanting, "We say gay." https: //cbsn.ws/3tCbrDa pic.twitter.com/U1Bq18DZMC
— CBS News (@CBS News) 1648221319
And after getting roundly shamed by its staff, Disney has finally halted all political donations in the state to protest the law. Which is perhaps why DeSantis made sure that there wouldn't be any pesky protesters around when he signed the bill yesterday, and certainly no surly high school students wanting to protect themselves by wearing a mask that ruins his shot.
Surrounded by cherubic white kids and their happy parents at a charter prep school north of Tampa, DeSantis promised to "make sure that parents can send their kids to school to get an education, not an indoctrination." As for the kids who need adults in their life to protect them, not use them to score cheap political points, well ... they can get fucked.
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