Last week, Florida’s Senate passed the Parental Rights in Education bill. Colloquially known as the Don’t Say Gay bill, the law would ban classroom discussion on topics regarding sexual orientation or gender identity in public schools—and grant parents the right to sue school districts for apparent violations.
Advocacy groups concerned with LGBTQ well-being worry about the toll of such legislation on mental health — especially given that 42% of LGBTQ youth already seriously considered suicide last year, including more than half of trans and nonbinary youth. Florida’s bill threatens to take away the solace of school, where many young people can freely embrace their identities. Similar bills are springing up around the country, in various forms.
Crucially, the ban on discussions also extends to personal identity, erasing potentially life-saving support systems at school; 50% of surveyed youth said school was an affirming space for them. Under the law, if kids shared information about their own orientations or identities with teachers, those educators would be obligated to report them to parents, effectively outing them against their will.
Read more at FastCompany.com.