Ron DeSantis’ “Don’t Say Gay” Law Has Already Turned Florida Schools Into Dystopian Hellscapes

When it comes to America’s descent into a dystopian hellscape, most people have probably focused in recent weeks on things like the ongoing Jan. 6 commission revelations about Donald Trump‘s attempt to overthrow democracy, and decisions by the Supreme Court that ruled there is no more separation of church and state, women have no rights and coal companies could kill us all. (Not to mention they may make it legal for Republicans to steal elections in the foreseeable future.) But it’s important to remember that Trump and the Supreme Court Christofascists aren’t the only people we turn to. have to worry about. There are also elected officials such as Ron DeSantis, who has a not insignificant chance of becoming president in 2024. Like Trump, the Florida governor takes great pride in being a bully; he bullies the Special Olympics, he bullies Disney, he bullies anyone who disagrees with him, and in the words of one of his teammates in college The New Yorker: “Ron is the most selfish person I’ve ever interacted with. He has always loved to embarrass and humiliate people. I speak for others – he was the biggest dick we knew.”

What would the country look like if DeSantis ascends to the White House? In a word: terrifying. In three words: really damn scary. In 20 words, it’s going to be the kind of place where teachers are warned not to display rainbow flags for fear of persecution.

Yes, on Friday Desantis’ Parental Rights in Education Act, also known as the “Don’t Say Gay” Act, went into effect in Florida, and it’s hard to overstate how terrifying this whole thing is. In addition to prohibiting any discussion of gender identity and sexual orientation in kindergarten through third grade, it also prohibits such discussion up to high school, saying that such topics cannot be discussed in any classroom in a way that is not “age-appropriate”. or developmentally suitable.” (Of course, the law doesn’t specify what’s considered “appropriate”; that definition may not come until next summer from the state’s Department of Education.) Critics believe the law was written in an intentionally broad way to scare school districts, which parents can sue if they believe that the measure has been violated. “When we talk about the culture of fear this bill has created and the chilling effect, we are talking about the fact that educators and school districts are afraid to approach anything related to LGBTQ people or problems for fear of lawsuits and professional demise ”, Florida representative Carlos Guillermo Smith told The Hill.

For example, the Orange County Classroom Teachers Association accused school officials this week to tell teachers not to wear clothes with rainbows and to remove stickers and pictures of their gay husbands “safe space,” according to NBC News. Last month, according to Palm Beach County high school special education teacher Michael Bos, the Palm Beach County School District “sent a questionnaire asking its teachers to review all course materials and mark all books with references to sexual orientation, gender identity, or race.” (According to Woods, the district removed the books a few weeks earlier i’m jazz and call me max, because it ostensibly refers to gender identity.) And according to NBC, the Leon County School Board on Tuesday approved an “LGBTQ Inclusive Guide,” which includes a clause that says parents should be notified if a student is “open about their gender identity” in gym class. of their child or is on a school trip with them. “Upon notification or determination of a student being open about their gender identity, parents of affected students will be notified of reasonable accommodation options available,” the guidelines read. “Parents or students who are concerned about room assignments for their student’s upcoming nighttime event based on religious or privacy issues can request accommodations.”

Meanwhile, as NBC points out, DeSantis has suggested that this is just the beginning, saying in an April interview with Fox News that “things like awake gender ideology have no place in the schools, period.”

Brandon Wolf, press secretary for Equality Florida – one of the groups that the DeSantis administration is suing over the law – told The Hill: “We have always understood what we are up against in the state of Florida. We know these lawmakers, we know the shift to the right that has taken place under Governor Ron DeSantis.” He added that he fears the measure will only increase anti-LGBTQ+ violence, which has increased from 2020 to 2021 and is on track to get worse by 2022, according to the Armed Conflict Location & Event Data Project. “It feels very ominous that in a state that has seen the deadliest attack on LGBTQ people in the history of this country… that we would have conversations about erasing our history, our lives, our lived experiences from classrooms, said Wolf.

Meanwhile, on Texel…

A group of “educators” have reportedly suggested to the state education board to call slavery “involuntary relocation.” Yes really! Opposition to the proposed change, which would be something like calling Hitler’s systematic murder of 6 million Jews “population shrinkage,” apparently emerged at a June 15 meeting at which a Democrat representing Dallas and Fort Worth noted that the new wording would not be “fair representation” of the slave trade. According to the Texas Tribune, board members have asked the group “to reconsider the wording,” writing, “For K-2, carefully examine the language used to describe events, especially the term ‘involuntary relocation’.” Because apparently “are you kidding?” or “What the hell is wrong with you?” is considered inappropriate.

While in Michigan…

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