Florida school district now requires teachers to out LGBTQ students because of “Don’t Say Gay”


I keep posting on this subject of school officials outing kids for a reason.   First this is not being pushed by teachers but instead by administrators, district level people, and school boards.   All people that do not have daily contact with the students / kids and don’t know which ones have rough home lives or parents who would react badly to the news.   The ones pushing this are really acting on misinformation and bigotry.   This is going to get kids hurt and harmed.   Some parents will throw the young kids out of the house,  force some of them to live like hermits with no friends or social support, force some into conversion therapy which is simply torture to force a person to act differently because sexual orientation and gender identity cannot be changed even by torture.  Or get the kids killed either by making them a target or by suicide.   Look just a few years ago there was a college student who killed himself because his roommate recorded him having sex with another man and the gay student was terrified his parents and others would find out he was gay.   Simple fact is if a kid who lives with these parents / people don’t think it is safe for them to come out to them, they are in the best position to know.   It is a matter of personal rights that people should only come out to live openly as they feel comfortable doing.   This mandatory reporting of an out kids to parents also destroys the students trust of their teachers and also denies the student resources they need to understand themselves and their world.   Remember these laws that are implemented by maga republican governors also remove any books with information or characters that are LGBTQ+.  It is plunging the LGBTQ+ back into the black hole void of the 1950s.     Hugs

A June 12, 2022 protest of Don't Say Gay law in New York City.
A June 12, 2022 protest of Don’t Say Gay law in New York City.Photo: Shutterstock

The Sarasota County School district adopted a new policy in the wake of the Don’t Say Gay law that requires teachers to out students to their parents if they identify as LGBTQ and to seek parental permission to refer to transgender students with the correct name or pronouns.

The new policy says: “If a student tells us that (they) are gay/gender questioning/trans, etc parent must be notified.”

A screenshot of a flow chart that illustrates the process a student must follow to be referred to with the correct name and pronouns was leaked to WUSF. It shows that a teacher must contact administration if a student asks the teacher to refer to them with a certain name or pronouns.

The administration will then contact the student’s parents to get consent for referring to the student correctly. If the parents don’t give consent, staff must deadname and misgender the student. If they do give consent, they have to meet with school administration to develop and sign a “gender support plan.”

School board member Bridget Ziegler, who supports the policy change, compared outing LGBTQ kids to informing parents that their child has been suspended.

“What if a child was saying, ‘Hey, my parents are really strict, I’m afraid to tell them that I got a suspension.’ Why is it different? It’s not,” she told the Herald-Tribune.

One teacher said that the plan changes how she interacts with students.

“I have several kids that are transgender that have preferred names,” said Gail Foreman of Booker High School. “And you know, we had to tell them, if you want to use your preferred name, I have got to call guidance, and they’re going to get a hold of your parents, and then your parents are going to meet with guidance. So guys, don’t say anything to me, if you’re not out at home.”

Foreman said that she doesn’t want to have to out students at all to their parents because of potential child abuse and suicide.

“If they get ahold of the parent, the parent comes into school, we believe everything’s all hunky dory, and that kid goes home,” she explained. “And then we get a call that the kid’s committed suicide, that kid’s in the hospital because the parent beat the snot out of them. I don’t want to come home every night and know that I may have contributed to one of my students being harmed.”

Derek Reich teaches history at Sarasota High School and said that the district told him he’s not even allowed to call students by nicknames without parental permission.

“This last week, our school district told us that look, Jonathan, whose government name is Jonathan, if you want to call him anything else — like his friends call him John, his parents call him John. If you want to call him by his nickname, John, you have to get a permission slip for him to call any student that wants to be called by something other than their official name on their birth certificate,” he said.

“So there are so many minor things that teachers are concerned about. If I can’t call Jonathan ‘John,’ when everyone in his family does without getting a permission slip signed, that’s a really difficult place to be as a teacher,” Reich added.

The Don’t Say Gay law was passed earlier this year and bans discussions of sexual orientation and gender identity in younger grades and requires such discussions to be “developmentally appropriate” in older grades. The law has been criticized for being vague – instead of defining those terms, it simply allows parents to sue school districts if they feel that the law has been violated.

The law also prohibits schools from withholding certain information from parents.


2 thoughts on “Florida school district now requires teachers to out LGBTQ students because of “Don’t Say Gay”

  1. Wow. The joys of a legislature and governor who don’t understand how to write laws (not to mention their bigoted laws) without massive unintended consequences (meaning the shorter or nicknames; not the rest.)

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Hello Ali. Yes but they needed to make it overly broad so it would have the effect it is having without them being called out for it. If they had written it to do what it is accomplishing, it wouldn’t have stood legal challenge. But they learned from the Texas anti-abortion law that turning over the enforcement of the law to the public being able to sue with the lawsuits being rigged so the person who sues pays no costs and the person who is sued pays them all win or lose. That is what the Florida don’t say gay law does. If a teacher doesn’t report a kid and a different kid tells their parents, the parents can sue and if they lose, they pay no costs and the school pays all the costs. If the person suing wins that a teacher did not report an out student, the school system must pay that person thousands of dollars and again all costs. School districts that are already hard up for money don’t want to take the risk of losing even more money. So they make draconian rules to make life as difficult as possible for the LGBTQ+ kids. It is a way of getting fear to do what the law doesn’t say or mean. But it was deliberate. The law says up to grade three and then age appropriate, without ever defining the terms as to what age appropriate is. Is a picture of a same sex spouse age appropriate? See how very insidious and misleading these laws are? The public thinks it is just a law to protect really young kids, but in truth it is designed to remove all protections and mentions / signs of LGBTQ+ from the schools. Schools in Florida cannot now allow the SCOTUS protected gay straight alliance clubs. They can have the bible clubs that attack the LGBTQ+. but they can not have the clubs that support them due to how vague the laws are written. You should see the post I just made with a library being attacked by a few people being supported by a hard right wing group demanding all books be based on the bible views and denying the entire community the right to have other things in the library. Only what these religious zealots deem acceptable and that doesn’t offend them must be in the library. Minority rule. It is rule by a gang of religious thugs. The Christian Taliban. Hugs

      Liked by 1 person

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