It goes without saying that children are the leaders of our future, and the topics they’ll soon choose to fight for and believe in ultimately start to develop on a grade school level. Sadly, censorship when it comes to what is taught in elementary schools across the nation has reached new heights recently for all the wrong reasons.
To provide a timely example, House Representatives in Florida have recently ruled in favor of two separate bills that may have detrimental effects on how race, sexuality and gender as it relates specifically to LGBTQ+ youth is taught in the Sunshine State.
Both the HB 7, also known as the “Individual Freedoms” bill, and HB 1557, which some refer to as the “Don’t Say Gay” bill, were approved by the Republican-dominated state House according to the Tampa Bay Times. While conservatives have praised it as a move that will give more control to parents over what their children are taught in the classroom, opponents argue that it will have a harmful effect on under-represented groups by potentially “whitewashing” Black and Native American history on one end while also erasing LGBTQ visibility altogether on the other.
More on the HB 7 bill below, via Tampa Bay Times:
“The main point of the bill, proponents said, is that teachers should not try to “indoctrinate or persuade” students, or to instruct students to feel guilt, anguish or psychological distress based on the actions of others. Some Floridians have complained that children have been taught about privilege and responsibility based on race, equating it with “critical race theory” — a college-level field of study — and demanded it not take place in K-12 schools.”
In regards to HB 1557, teachers will be prohibited from “instruction about sexual orientation and gender identity in kindergarten through third grade, or otherwise if not age-appropriate,” although the ramifications of what is “age-appropriate” weren’t explicitly laid out in the bill. Openly gay State Rep. Carlos Guillermo Smith, D-Orlando, aimed to explain the negative nickname given to the bill, stating, “We call it the ‘don’t say gay’ bill because it prohibits classroom instruction on sexual orientation and gender identity,” further adding, “But members, this bill goes way beyond the text on the page. It sends a terrible message to our youth, that there is something so wrong, so inappropriate, so dangerous about this topic that we have to censor it from classroom instruction.”
Both controversial bills will be sent to the Senate for final rulings on Monday, and we can only hope this doesn’t have an adverse affect than what’s intended. Overall, no student should be limited in any way when it comes to their education.
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Florida House Passes “Don’t Say Gay” & Anti-CRT Bills That Limit Lessons On Race & Gender was originally published on blackamericaweb.com