DeSantis Announces Settlement Over New Law Concerning Parental Rights

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[Photo Credit: By Gage Skidmore from Surprise, AZ, United States of America - Ron DeSantis, CC BY-SA 2.0, https://commons.wikimedia.org/w/index.php?curid=139870337]

Florida governor Ron DeSantis’ administration has now reportedly reached a settlement on Monday regarding the Parental Rights in Education law, which limits the teaching of gender ideology and sexual topics in K–12 public schools.

The agreement with individuals seeking to challenge the law upholds the legislation, which was approved in April 2022, while clarifying specific restrictions and permissions regarding education.

Public-school teachers were prohibited from discussing sexual orientation or gender identity in kindergarten through third grade. Subsequently, the law was extended twice to encompass middle school students and later high school students, who were covered by a subsequent resolution from the state Board of Education.

In the previous month, a federal judge dismissed a lawsuit that sought to block the law, stating that the plaintiffs did not provide enough evidence to prove their case.

This was the judge’s second dismissal of the case, following a previous ruling on similar claims last autumn. The plaintiffs argued that they were not provided with the same educational opportunities in the curriculum and faced discrimination in the educational setting

As part of the agreement, the Florida Board of Education has agreed to provide guidance to Florida school districts to clarify that the law does not prohibit all discussion of LGBT topics and individuals in the classroom, but only excludes it from formal instruction.

The agreement also affirms the equal application of the law to LGBT individuals and heterosexual individuals, specifying that library books not utilized for classroom teaching are not covered by the mandate.

Books featuring LGBT characters or same-sex couples are also allowed, as per the settlement terms.

An intense controversy arose from the initial law, sparking a significant conflict between DeSantis and the Walt Disney Company. This led to Florida revoking specific tax benefits from the entertainment company due to its involvement in political issues.

[READ MORE: DeSantis Recommends Top Ally to Head up Administration of Disney District]

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