Republican Governor Ron DeSantis of Florida signed a bill protecting the rights of children and parents, promising that no one in a Florida school will ever be forced to declare pronouns.
According to the governor’s office tweet, DeSantis signed several bills on Wednesday to protect children from sexually explicit drag shows, make school bathrooms and locker rooms safe for girls and women, end pronoun insanity, and ban transgender hormones and surgeries for minors.
Speaking from a news conference in Tampa, DeSantis’ bill HB 1069 ensures Florida students and teachers will never be forced to declare pronouns in school or use pronouns not based on biological sex.
DeSantis said this was never done in human history until two weeks ago. Now declaring pronouns is something they’re having third-graders do, and Florida is not doing the pronoun Olympics.
The bill signed by DeSantis forbids such educational institutions from requiring workers, contractors, and students to use, give, or be asked to provide particular titles and pronouns.
Additionally, the measure ensures that students will not be punished or treated differently for not providing specific titles and pronouns and prohibits pupils in grades PK-8 from being taught about sexual orientation or gender identity.
DeSantis characterized the legislation as continuing last year’s Parental Rights in Education Act. He argued that there are regulations in place at schools across the state that force children to select pronouns without telling their parents.
DeSantis added that forcing kids to try to choose these pronouns is inappropriate.
SB 254, another measure signed by DeSantis on Wednesday, makes it illegal for anybody under 18 to undergo sex-reassignment surgery or take cross-sex hormones by prescription for treating gender dysphoria. Furthermore, the bill would make permanent a state law prohibiting Medicaid reimbursement for treatments for people of any age.
DeSantis signed the law in front of a crowd of children on Wednesday after it had passed the Florida Senate. DeSantis and Florida Surgeon General Joseph Ladapo support the bill.
Before signing SB 254, DeSantis stated it would make it illegal to mutilate or perform surgery on a child, as well as make it illegal to give minors experimental puberty blockers. Detailed information about the permanence of these surgeries and associated risks must be provided to all consenting individuals. This will give the courts provisional jurisdiction to intervene and intercept procedures for out-of-state children.
SB 1438, another bill signed by DeSantis, aims to restrict minors from attending drag shows without explicitly naming that form of entertainment.
HB 1521, one of the last two pieces of legislation DeSantis signed on Wednesday, mandates the segregation of men’s and women’s toilets and locker rooms and the prohibition of accessing such areas without permission.
DeSantis also mentioned HB 225, which would allow private, virtual, and homeschooled students to participate in extracurricular activities and sports at public or private schools.