Due the settlement, Florida educators are now free to “say gay” in the classroom

The state of Florida and LGBTQ advocacy groups, including Equality Florida, reached a settlement on Monday regarding a 2022 law concerning classroom discussions on sexual orientation and gender identity.

This agreement allows teachers more freedom to talk about these subjects while maintaining restrictions on such discussions for students in kindergarten through third grade.

Equality Florida hailed the agreement as a “landmark achievement,” celebrating the mitigation of what they perceived as the law’s discriminatory effects.

Conversely, the office of Governor Ron DeSantis described the settlement as a victory, emphasizing the state’s commitment to preventing “radical gender and sexual ideology” from entering educational spaces.

The law, which had influenced similar legislation in other states and contributed to national cultural debates, remains in effect.

However, the settlement, endorsed by the 11th US Circuit Court of Appeals, provides new guidelines for educators in Florida, ensuring more open classroom discussions while still prohibiting instruction on sexual orientation and gender identity for the youngest schoolchildren.

Additionally, the settlement includes provisions for parental notification regarding healthcare services and school questionnaires, allowing parents the option to opt out.

It also safeguards student clubs, such as the Gay-Straight Alliance, and reinforces nondiscrimination protections, preventing the ban of related library books, as stated by Equality Florida.