Gov. Ron DeSantis of Florida fired back at a reporter questioning Florida’s Parental Rights in Education bill, which passed the Florida Senate with a 22-17 vote on Tuesday.
House Bill 1557 states 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 for students in accordance with state standards.”
WFLA reporter Evan Donovan confronted the governor during a press conference this week, and referred to the legislation as “the don’t say gay bill.”
DeSantis immediately took issue with that description of the bill.
“Does it say that in the bill?” DeSantis asked. “Does it say that in the bill?”
“It says ‘Classroom instruction on sexual identity and gender orientation’,” said the reporter, who was quickly stopped by the governor.
“For who?” asked DeSantis. “For who? For grades pre-K through three. Five-year-olds, six-year-olds, seven-year-olds. The idea that you wouldn’t be honest about that and tell people what it actually says, it’s why people don’t trust people like you because you peddle false narratives. And so we just disabused you of those narratives.”
The governor continued to voice his support for the legislation, which would remove discussion of sexual orientation or gender identity from K-3 classrooms.
“There’s nothing in the bill that says anything about ‘you can’t say’ or ‘this say.’ It’s basically saying for our youngest students … do you really want them to be taught about – and this is any sexual stuff, but I think clearly right now, we see a lot of focus on the transgenderism – telling kids that they may be able to pick genders and all that. I don’t think parents want that for these young kids, so I think that’s what they were trying to do, and I think that’s justifiable,” DeSantis said.
The bill now heads to the governor’s desk for signing.