By Cassandra Fairbanks
Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis has signed the “Parents Bill of Rights” that will give families more control over what their children are taught in government funded schools.
The bill, HB 241, allows parents to “direct the education and care of his or her minor child,” including a right to “access and review all school records” related to the students.
🚨BREAKING: Desantis just signed #HB241-“Parents’ Bill of Rights” allows parents to read/review school curriculum & to opt their kids out of required vaccinations & LGBTQ/sex-education.
— Tim Swain (@SwainForSenate) June 30, 2021
The text of the bill asserts that parents have right to direct the upbringing and the moral or religious training of their minor child, the right to access and review all school records and medical records of their child, and the right to make health care decisions for their minor child (unless otherwise prohibited by law).
The left was outraged over the bill, as it will allow parents to opt-out of their children being exposed to controversial issues, including any LGBTQ or sex education classes. They will also be permitted to opt-out of certain vaccines.
LGBTQ advocacy group Equality Florida said that the bill is dangerous because it “could compel schools to out LGBTQ youth who face unsupportive or dangerous home environments.”
“What we are seeing is government power is slowly encroaching and expanding. It will do so until the parents assert the rights that they have, but they have to know what those rights are in order to assert them,” Senate sponsor Ray Rodrigues said in April.
DeSantis has been on a mission to reform the education system in his state.
Earlier this month, the firebrand governor signed a bill that will require high schools in the state to teach students the “evils of Communism and Totalitarian ideologies.”
“We have a number of people in Florida, particularly southern Florida, who’ve escaped totalitarian regimes, who’ve escaped communist dictatorships to be able to come to America. We want all students to understand the difference, why would somebody flee across shark-infested waters, say leaving from Cuba to come to southern Florida. Why would somebody leave a place like Vietnam? Why would people leave these countries and risk their life to be able to come here. It’s important students understand that,” DeSantis said.
That same day, DeSantis signed HB 233, which seeks to protect the freedom of speech on campuses by requiring colleges and universities to conduct annual assessments on the “intellectual freedom and viewpoint diversity” at their institutions. It also prohibits the State Board of Education from shielding students, staff and faculty from certain speech.
“You have orthodoxies that are promoted, and other viewpoints are shunned or even suppressed,” DeSantis said while signing HB 233. “We don’t want that in Florida, you need to have a true contest of ideas, students should not be shielded from ideas and we want robust First Amendment speech on our college and university campuses.”
A few weeks prior to those bills, DeSantis banned Critical Race Theory from being taught in Florida schools, saying “we do not want curriculum that is judging students based on their race and we do not want false history like you see with the 1619 Project.”
On June 1, he signed the Fairness in Women’s Sports Act — which states that “an athletic team or sport that is designated for females, women, or girls may not be open to students of the male sex, based on the student’s biological sex listed on the student’s official birth certificate at the time of birth.” The far-left Human Rights Campaign (HRC) Foundation announced on Wednesday that they have filed a federal civil rights lawsuit in the District Court for the Southern District of Florida, to challenge the law.
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