The Florida Board of Education (FLBOE) approved tough new rules that would penalize those who repeatedly violate transgender bathroom laws.
While much of the media is treating the unanimous approval by the FLBOE of the new rules as something revolutionary, it’s largely the implementation of a law that was previously passed by the Florida Legislature under HB 1521.
As such, approval of HB 1521 by the FLBOE was merely a formality.
HB 1521 prohibits people from willfully entering a restroom or changing room of the opposite sex, except for specified circumstances, reports local NBC News 2.
“Our students are safer due to the vision of Governor DeSantis and the actions taken by the Legislature, which have now been approved by the State Board,” said Commissioner of Education Manny Diaz, Jr, in a statement. “Florida has continued to lead the way in protecting our students, and I am proud of all the work we are doing on their behalf.”
The measure requires institutions such as state universities and juvenile correctional facilities to implement procedures to certify they are following the new law, said local News 6 Orlando.
The new rules approved by the FLBOE under the measure also impose certain disciplinary procedures for institutions that includes termination for a second offense, according to News 6.
“Bathroom spaces are very intimate and private,” said board member Grazie P. Christie, according to USA Today. “There is historically and cross culturally accurate reasons why males and females use different spaces in those intimate moments, not just for girls and women, but also for boys and men. This is not something that as a culture we should ditch because of very, very new ideologies that are challenging the science of male and female, which doesn’t change because biology doesn’t change.”
The board established less well-known reforms under the legislation as well, such as the creation of standards regarding “Gross Immorality and Moral Turpitude.”
The new standard “Protects children by classifying offenses such as possession of child pornography or admitting a child into an adult live performance as grossly immoral or an act of moral turpitude for the purpose of discipline against a Florida educator’s certificate,” said the statement by the department.
When Gov. Ron DeSantis signed the legislation in May, he called it an act that “represents a refuge of sanity and a citadel of normalcy” in a world gone “mad.”
The board also approved measures that would protect personally identifiable information of students when using required online educational services; create a process to identify, assess, manage, and monitor potential and real threats to student safety; and update the special magistrate process for unresolved student welfare complaints, said the FLDOE
The new rules will go into effect Jan. 1.