Florida’s ‘Don’t Say Gay’ Bill Can Really Hurt Child Development


Alondra Flores, Staff Writer

Florida’s “Don’t Say Gay bill,” or HB 1557, was passed on March 8, which means the teaching or conversation about sexual orientations and gender identity from kindergarten to 3rd grade is prohibited, while, other grades are not to talk about the topic unless it is “age-appropriate” or “developmentally appropriate.” This could affect young people who are trying to figure themself out and rely on school as a “safe place” for them. This bill can go as far as suing the school for trying to teach them about homosexuality, and gender identity if a student comes out in school, teachers or administrators, might need to tell the parents.

It’s not that kindergarteners are already thinking about what their sexuality may be or what gender they identify as, but kids still learning about it at a young age is important in more ways than one. In the future, they may start trying to figure out themselves and think that their gender or sexuality isn’t something they should be thinking about, or that doing so is wrong and unnatural, and they should know that what they are going through isn’t wrong. 

If a child doesn’t learn how to read,  they would naturally be confused in school, not knowing what to do when someone hands them a book. They would struggle in school and life. If students don’t learn about sexual orientation or gender identification when they start to question themself, they also wouldn’t know what to do. While others are already figured themselves out, they can’t do anything and feel as if they can’t do a simple thing as figuring out who they like.

Now, what about those children with LGBTQ+ parents? With Florida taking away the right for LGBT couples to adopt, kids won’t be able to so much as talk about their parents. Teachers may pull them aside from any type of parental activities. What if they have family members? Sometimes not talking about the LGBTQ+ community might make them think there is no one like that family member, that they are not normal people. It’s so innocent when a child says, “Oh my uncle has a boyfriend” or “I have two moms,” and a child should not feel bad about doing so.

The banning of books, especially those with “inappropriate content,” such as books with LGBTQ content, is especially dangerous.  People that ban books think that’ll help keep the child somewhat pure. They really think that taking away books, with LGBTQ+ content, will help out with keeping them from ever seeing the other world. 

If a student is truly confused about their identity or figuring out their sexuality, a teacher is someone who they might go to, whom they may truly trust to talk with. They won’t be able to talk about it because the teacher might have the fear of maybe being sued by the parents, or how they may have to say, “I’m sorry, but by law, I am in no way allowed to talk about this topic.”. The student, who might not have anyone to talk to, doesn’t even know if their parents are understanding of LGTBQA feelings or if they are going to react in a positive way or a negative way. 

Students may want to be open about their sexuality or gender identity. Some may want to tell at least one person who isn’t their parent. They would want support from other students or teachers even to make them feel like they belong. That’s why we have Pride. These kids aren’t going to be able to celebrate who they are. One wrong move and the whole school can be sued for encouraging students to support homosexuality. Wouldn’t they feel both left out and unwanted because they can’t celebrate who they are while others can?

Parents not wanting to expose their children to other things you would not want them to know is understandable, but there are some things that they should be able to know about no matter what. There are people that don’t identify with their assigned gender or any gender. That there are people with two dads or two moms, and that is okay. Children should know what is out in the world and that parents won’t be there in the future when they themself are questioning themselves about certain things. Not learning about LGTBQA life and community can and will affect their futures.