Can Students Say Gay?

Response to the Parental rights in Education law


HB, 1557, Florida’s Parental Rights in Education Law, also known as the “Don’t Say Gay” law has caused an uproar amongst members of the LGBTQ+ community and their allies. They feel this bill effectively erases significant movements in history involving LGBTQ+ rights, and limit any conversations about gender identity and sexuality.


Although it is intended to impact only graded K-3,  once it goes into effect, it is feared the “Don’t Say Gay” law would eliminate lessons on LGBTQ+ health topics, and would eliminate conversations on gender identity in the classroom. 


“It’s really upsetting for me and it seems very pointless and discriminatory,” junior Samantha Shortal said. “I don’t understand why it was made in the first place.”


 The “Don’t Say Gay” law was originally proposed by State Senator Dennis Baxley. It has since gained full support from Florida’s governor, Ron DeSantis.


“The larger issue with all of this is parents must have a seat at the table with what’s going on at school,” DeSantis said. “Schools need to be teaching kids to read, to write.”


Protests against this bill have were put in motion by many LGBTQ+ students and their allies to showed their support for a safe learning environment for all. Many Florida school’s arranged walk-outs to peacefully protest the bills passing.


Lyman students walked out of classes on March 3rd to protest against this bill. Although this event was not school sponsored, a large group of students gathered in the courtyard and chanted phrases such as “love is love,” or “let’s go lesbians.” Students held pride flags and signs to show support for the LGBTQ+ community. 


“The protest was really fun; how people came together to show support, even people who are not part of the LGBT community and how the teachers were also there supporting,” sophomore Paul Hernandez said.