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Florida Passed the ‘Don’t Say Gay’ Bill & Here’s What That Means For Kids

Florida’s awful “Don’t Say Gay” bill was officially passed on Tuesday. The Republican-led senate gave their greenlight with a 22-17 vote and now it’s headed to Gov. Ron DeSantis’s desk. He has already indicated that he approves of the bill.

So, what does that mean for young kids in Florida? They will no long have access to critical LGBTQ+ education or an open space to discuss their identities.

“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,” the bill reads.

Should teachers engage in any of those topics, parents have been given the license to sue the school district. Essentially, the bill is written broadly enough that it forces teachers to erase an entire community from their lesson plan.

The backlash from young people across Florida has been nothing short of incredible. Videos have popped up on Twitter of students walking out of class to protest the bill and show their support of the LGBTQ+ community.

When the bill was first proposed, dozens of students squeezed into the halls of the legislature while calling out: “We say gay!”

“We have failed as a legislature if hundreds of kids stand outside screaming for their rights and you can’t explain to fifth graders and sixth graders and eighth graders simple definitions of your bill. You’ve failed,” Sen. Jason Pizzo said in response to those protests, per AP News.

While it’s very easy to feel helpless in situations like this, there are plenty of ways to stay proactive. Here’s just a small sampling of LGBTQ+ groups in Florida that can always use support from allies.

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