Florida requires schools to be transparent with parents about plans to adopt controversial bathroom policies

by Laura Ramirez

Photo: Alamy

The Florida Board of Education followed in the footsteps of Gov. Ron DeSantis, R-Fla., by approving a new policy Wednesday that champions parental rights in education. The rule requires schools across the state to notify parents of plans to allow students to use bathrooms or locker rooms that are not designated for their sex assigned at birth.

The new policy, 6A-10.086, gives students and parents “full knowledge if bathrooms and locker rooms will not be separated by biological sex at birth,” and “allowing them to make informed decisions and requests for accommodations or modification.”

The purpose of the rule is to “protect the fundamental rights of parents” by disclosing “how bathrooms are designated and how locker rooms, which include dressing rooms, are designated and supervised.”

“This rule will ensure full transparency to enhance the health, safety and welfare of students when utilizing bathrooms and locker rooms and protect parental rights,” the rule affirms.

“What this rule is about, as I understand it, is parental notification,” Board of Education Chairman Thomas R. Grady said, according to The Hill. “It’s not mandating what a particular bathroom looks like or doesn’t look like or who can use it.”

Additionally, the board adopted another rule, punishing educators in violation of Florida’s Parental Rights in Education signed by DeSantis in March, Florida’s Voice reported.

The Parental Rights in Education, falsely coined as the “Don’t Say Gay” bill by critics, signed into law earlier this year heralded parents’ rights to make decisions for their children, a press release from DeSantis’ office claimed. The legislation prohibited educators from instructing on sexual orientation or gender identity from kindergarten through third grade.

“Parents’ rights have been increasingly under assault around the nation, but in Florida we stand up for the rights of parents and the fundamental role they play in the education of their children,” the governor said at the time. “Parents have every right to be informed about services offered to their child at school, and should be protected from schools using classroom instruction to sexualize their kids as young as five years old.”

The board’s latest rule follows the governor’s footsteps, providing parents with insight into school procedures and plans involving their children.

“Parents have a right to be involved in their child’s education and informed regarding what is taking place at their child’s school, and moreover students have a right to come to a safe learning environment every day,” Florida Commissioner of Education Manny Diaz, Jr. said, per Florida’s Voice. “I applaud the State Board of Education for upholding parental rights and continuing to promote the health, safety and welfare of the students in our schools.”

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