schoolteacher showing rainbow flag to children
"And this is just a flag with a rainbow on it, devoid of any other context whatsoever."

To what extent should primary level students be taught about LGBTQ issues in the classroom?

Florida says none. Zip. Zero.

A bill that would make it illegal for primary school teachers (pre-K through 3rd grade) to mention sexual orientation or identity is flying through the Florida legislature at a meteoric pace. The bill will also severely limit how teachers in upper grades can talk about sexual orientation.

Dubbed the “Don’t Say Gay” bill by opponents, it would not only make it illegal to mention the existence of homosexuality to children – it would allow parents to sue teachers or schools that do so.

LGBTQ advocates did not mince words on this bill: If it passes, they say kids will die.

Florida Strikes Again

“This bill will erase young LGBTQ students across Florida, forcing many back into the closet by policing their identity and silencing important discussions about the issues they face,” said Sam Ames, Trevor Project advocacy director. 

Advocates point to the high suicide risk for gay youth as proof that this bill will make Florida a more dangerous place for them to live. Secretary of Transportation Pete Buttigieg’s husband Chasten weighed in, suggesting that the bill will lead to an increase in suicide.

In some cases, a sympathetic teacher might be the only adult a gay student feels comfortable or safe talking to. If this bill passes, they say, teachers will be forced to choose between helping their students and potentially losing their career.

Think of the Children!

But those advancing the bill in Florida claim it isn't about oppressing gay youth at all. “This bill is about defending the most awesome responsibility a person can have: being a parent,” said one of its sponsors, state Rep. Joe Harding.

And state Senator Dennis Baxter, who filed a companion bill, pondered why homosexuality would ever be brought up around children in the first place. “At that age they need to be worried about reading and worrying about their math,” he said. “For me, it’s why are we sensationalizing this age to have all these questions and to force so many questions on gender on these children at that age?”

Yet LGBTQ advocates insist that the bill effectively demonizes homosexuality by making it unacceptable to talk about. There’s nothing wrong with acknowledging homosexuality’s existence to children, they argue.

“LGBTQ students deserve their history and experiences to be reflected in their education, just like their peers,” argues Ames. 

What do you think? Is it a bad idea to shelter kids from gay issues? Or is it a parent’s ultimate right to decide when and how their child learns about homosexuality?

99 comments

  1. Gary Richard Noce's Avatar Gary Richard Noce

    Florida is a complete mess. It's looks like a banana republic. White supremacists are turning back the clock to the 50s. The governor is showing us what they want America to be. It's thier perfect example and eill be used by the governor to run for president.

    1. Reverend Gary's Avatar Reverend Gary

      “A person who stirs up division, after warning him once and then twice, have nothing more to do with him, knowing that such a person is warped and sinful; he is self-condemned.”

    2. Rev. Rory's Avatar Rev. Rory

      Comment removed by user.

    3. Mistydawn Elizabeth Carter's Avatar Mistydawn Elizabeth Carter

      If a child has a concern and asks, tell them it is not the time for that discussion. When in school they are to learn reading, writing, arithmetic, and how to be kind. Children should be allowed to be Children. Purposefully teaching children about sexual orientation and gender identity is called grooming. Children tend to ask a question as it comes to their mind. Teaching them when it is appropriate to talk or ask about things will be better for them in the long run. I remember my mother having to sign a paper asking for permission for me to be taught Sex Ed in school. I was a middle school student and had already started puberty a year before the class. My mother told me everything in that class before they did. I talk openly with my mother about a lot of things. She even told me about things the class missed out on. Like how abstinence was the BEST way not to get pregnant. She told me how she was on the pill when she got pregnant with me. (Granted this was in the early 90s, and we have made great strides in medical fields). The point of this is My mother had prepared me for puberty not a class that barely told me that a tampon actually goes into the vagina and I would need to start using deodorant. She told me I would start noticing different things in my classmates. But school is for classes not daydreaming and social interaction. That is why we have parties and "playdates" to explore our social identity. Dances at the school were essentially to teach us how to act in society and network. But that was more platonic than "hey here ya go! 😉 Go do those things we told you not to do! Cause issues that will make your life harder.

      1. Jean's Avatar Jean

        I'm so glad your mother was able to be so informative. Many mothers are not that progressive. After my mother finished "educating" me as to the facts of life, I thought babies were born in little brown paper bags like what I carried my lunch to school in... (She tried, she just didn't have the vocabulary for that particular topic.) You seem to be ignoring the fact that we are social creatures by nature. You can't eliminate socializing by saying "school is for reading, writing, & 'rithmatic". That attitude throws education back into the 1800s... maybe that's where you want it; if so, feel free to home school your children, or put them in religious indoctrination programs - church schools. Public school needs to be regulated by a cooperative committee including parents, educators, mental health professionals, & members of local government. That way, no one gets to railroad their ideas through because there are no dissenting or otherwise informative voices present. Kids are going to talk to each other in school! My undiagnosed ADD, among other things, had me looking out the windows for at least a third of every class, but my teachers knew how to re-direct me - sometimes not very gracefully, but effectively nonetheless. But there was no point at which I felt it safe to talk to any of my teachers about my feelings for some of my little friends, or what was going on at home that made it so difficult to focus on what was happening in the classroom. I had a few friends with whom I could talk about some of these things, & occasionally, a teacher would have a flash of insight into the quiet little girl staring out the window... it was those insightful teachers who saved my life. They were my lifeline, they let me know someone out there actually cared about ME. Had they been hamstrung in terms of what words they could use, or what subjects they could broach, they might have chosen to say nothing for fear of running afoul of the school board or the fascist governor... (thinking of Florida, here...) Nobody told me "it's okay if you're gay!" or "if you want to kiss a girl you can", but they told me it was alright to be me. They told me they cared, & if I needed to talk, they could help me find a school counselor I could trust. Mainly they told me they cared. That I mattered to someone just the way I was. Y'all are throwing the baby out with the bath water. None of us wants a pedophile preying on any child, but telling a child it's okay if they are different from their classmates isn't preying on them, it's showing them love & acceptance & compassion. It's saving their lives. And when the teachers are free to demonstrate acceptance, the other children will see that - even if their classmate is different - they need to treat everyone with respect. Or at least that's the hope... that message can be subverted by the repressive messages from their parents, but that's another issue altogether. Again, if you think all that's going on in a classroom - or SHOULD go on - pertains to education in the limited disciplines outlined in your comment, I suggest you keep your children out of public school. Or at least keep them away from my children...

  1. Pastor John Warner's Avatar Pastor John Warner

    I think that the subject should be brought up by the parents, but it should be acceptable for the teacher to also bring it up. Being Gay is nothing to be ashamed of. Also, you will have the child that has two moms or two dads. This is more apparent today than it was when I was raised. (I'm 65 and raised in the '60's.) This was a subject that was quickly sidestepped by my parents and other adults.

    Today, there are more "out" Gay parents, and it's more commonplace than it was during my childhood. The children to day are more aware of what's goning on around them whether you want to admit it or not. I see nothing wrong with the teacher to bring it up and also adding if they want to talk about it to discuss it more with their parents.

    1. Douglas Robert Spindler's Avatar Douglas Robert Spindler

      Parents can’t even talk to their kids about sex and where babies come from. You expect parents to talk to their kids about being gay? We have schools to teach kids what parents can’t or don’t know. Parents also teach preconceived bias they have to their kids which can be antisocial.

      1. Daniel Joseph Morse's Avatar Daniel Joseph Morse

        " Parents also teach preconceived bias they have to their kids which can be antisocial.". One of many good reasons for me to not have kids.

        1. Douglas Robert Spindler's Avatar Douglas Robert Spindler

          @Daniel Joseph Morse " Parents also teach preconceived bias they have to their kids which can be antisocial." And that is why kids don't listen to their parents. If kids were antisocial women wouldn't be having babies and that would be the end of the human race.

          You not having kids eliminates your genes from the gene pool.

          1. Daniel Joseph Morse's Avatar Daniel Joseph Morse

            A good thing I am sure.

    2. Cheryl Pettijohn's Avatar Cheryl Pettijohn

      My first reaction was, this is in elementary school so.....My second reaction was, this is where the censorship starts and middle school is next. Then I read your post about same sex parents and I realized it was broader than I thought. I guarantee if a student asks me questions I will answer them to the best of my ability. There are things we are forbidden to tell students, such as our political leanings, but I guarantee every student knows I am an ally without me saying a word, and some know I am ace. And folks, ace people are erased from the narrative more than any other.

      1. Jean's Avatar Jean

        Thank you for your commitment to being an ally!! You are invaluable to those students in such severe danger of falling through the cracks, so to speak. You are saving lives, whether you know it or not - but I bet you knew that... 😊❤️

  1. Christopher John Kady's Avatar Christopher John Kady

    Ooooooooooh BOY! Is this a controversial state of affairs. I would like to preface what I am about to say with the fact that I am, in fact, an OUT and PROUD homosexual man, servant of God, and Registered Medical Assistant. I was born in 1983. My primary education was in mostly public schools in Northern Massachusetts. That being said: I didn’t even know what “gay” was until I was in middle school, (a Catholic school to boot). It was not until a very wise English teacher responded to a comment that I made about media encouraging people to be gay (this was the late 90’s) that I learned and I quote: “Being gay isn’t a choice, Christopher. People don’t choose to be gay; they either are, or they aren’t.” The lightbulb didn’t quite go off in my head until several years later when I finally came to understand what my feelings meant. I’d always been different, but it was not something I knew how to articulate or explain. I eventually accepted who I truly am, and “came out.”

    While I can say I felt certain shame and an instinctive need to hide how I felt, as I think most do, I don’t know how this proposed law will affect future LGBTQ youth. I don’t presume to believe that my experience was “typical” or “normal” for a gay youth of my generation. We each have our own unique experiences, upbringings, and family/home lives. However, homosexuality was in the media. It was not nearly as much as it is now. There were only a handful of shows that even touched on it in the mainstream media.

    What I can disagree with, wholeheartedly, is making it illegal to discuss in a classroom. I’ve been out of a classroom for a few years now, but I cannot recall - with the exception of my off-hand remark in high school - anything being mentioned about homosexuality as an actual part of any curriculum that was taught. Come to think of it…one of my elementary school teachers was Ms., not Mrs., and she had a lady friend who occasionally chaperoned field trips and more than once brought her glasses to school when the teacher forgot them. But, I digress.

    I would concede that such conversations about gender identity, sexual orientation, and education about such need to be handled carefully. These things were not even on the radar when I was a child. I can see why kindergartners don’t really need to know about it. However, the Republican governor of my own state of NH recently rejected a law that I think most residents expected him to pass and he said something along the lines of, laws that restrict certain liberties impinging freedom is not in the purview of the government to impose. THAT is where I find most disagreement with this bill. I believe it should be up to a parent to choose how to discuss such things with young children, but it is a potential problem if we make topics ILLEGAL for teachers to discuss. The purpose of school is to educate. Valuable lessons of mathematics, science, history and language are taught in school. However, there is an undeniable social aspect to school and making it illegal to discuss something as mainstream as current LGBTQ culture is as wrong as saying it is illegal to discuss politics. Politics don’t usually become part of a school child’s curriculum until they are older and I don’t think anyone has a problem with that. So why on earth would we prohibit teachers from discussing something if a topic like that arises? I think that is wrong. When we limit what teachers can or cannot teach, or allow politics to dictate education we hurt ourselves and our children. We also prevent teachers from doing their jobs which, undeniably, is to teach.

    1. Jean Bakula's Avatar Jean Bakula

      I believe in kindergarten they would just read books about children, or animals, who have two Mommies or two Daddies. But the parents who make the most noise are the ones who never discuss sex or LGBTQ issues with their kids. Kids know they are "different" by the time they are about three years old. I know this because I have a gay son and work with young people. But because of shame or embarrassment, may not come out until they are in their thirties. Now crazed parents in red states are insisting parents burn books, when American children have reading levels lower than in other countries. Many of these books are about LGBTQ children, who really need to learn they are not alone. I have read the whole Bible, and never saw Jesus say anything against gays.

  1. Dorothy A. Hanson's Avatar Dorothy A. Hanson

    We are animals, classified as human beings, who have varied sexual orientations. We teach children about the fornication behavior between animals, scientific facts, why not the sexual orientation of humans? When society starts mixing scientific research with Religious beliefs there is difficulty in rational thinking. We have proved the earth is not flat through science so dismissing science because it conflicts with Religion is irrational. We have separated Religion and Politics because of the conflict in rational thinking also. Time to bring Society up to date on sexuality based in facts. Fact in the first two weeks of gestation, the embryo decides its sexual orientation, 6 weeks later the embryo decides whether it will be male or female ... if that embryo decided at two weeks to arrive in the world as a female and the physical body through DNA decides to be male with a penis, well, the sexual drives of that person will be interesting. My remarks here are always open for discussion with open minds.

    1. Eric Wayne Maynard's Avatar Eric Wayne Maynard

      I like where you are going with this but, I request some clarification. Your rhetoric states, "the embryo decides" sexual orientation and gender, respectively. Are not these decisions basically random, based on genetics? The embryo in question does not make a logical or rational decision to be one way or the other... Please forgive me but, my knowledge of genetics and the reproductive processes of vertebrate mammals does not extend beyond grade school and basic collegiate level knowledge gained through lecture and moderate examination.

    2. Eric Wayne Maynard's Avatar Eric Wayne Maynard

      I like where you are going with this but, I request some clarification. Your rhetoric states, "the embryo decides" sexual orientation and gender, respectively. Are not these decisions basically random, based on genetics? The embryo in question does not make a logical or rational decision to be one way or the other... Please forgive me but, my knowledge of genetics and the reproductive processes of vertebrate mammals does not extend beyond grade school and basic collegiate level knowledge gained through lecture and moderate examination.

  1. Lionheart's Avatar Lionheart

    Do all prepubescent children need to know about what "sexual orientation" is, or wait until they can fully comprehend what sex is? Is it not fully beyond their comprehension until such time they can comprehend it? Isn't this akin to teaching children there is a magical being in the sky and telling them if they do naughty things and don't believe in someone they will burn in a place called Hell for ever and ever? Children have enough to deal with as they grow and mature into adulthood, in the meantime let them be children, and explore, and have childish fun playing at being just......children.

    🦁♥️

    1. Christopher John Kady's Avatar Christopher John Kady

      That is right in line with the comment I was trying to make, but I don’t know if it actually posted. I do not think of sexual identity and orientation as something children need to have specifically added to their curriculum. However, I do not think teachers should be legally limited in discussing it.

      Scenario: There will be children with same-sex parents in public schools. This would be completely normal from their perspective. If such a child makes friendships with another child who has one mother and one father vs. two moms or two dads, and they ask their teacher about this, then the law should not be specifically limiting what the teacher is allowed to say. We should be able to rely on the teacher’s judgment of how to handle this subject. If the school systems choose to implement a policy of refer to back to the children’s parents the. That is one thing, but legally barring a teacher from answering a student’s question is not something that should be allowed to happen. I think that is a very slippery slope.

    2. Marion Wolfe's Avatar Marion Wolfe

      That's an interesting point, but don't you think we should have even more laws that allow the government to dictate what subjects should be illegal to discuss with children?

      Children at the ages in the article are not developmentally prepared to handle calculus; would you say it's fair to create a new law that ensures no teacher makes calculus references to such young kids? Or, how about a law that outlaws discussion of credit scores in schools? You may not have children yourself, but can you imagine your child losing their innocence at school and coming home to ask you what your credit score is?

      Come to think of it, an even more important law may be to make it illegal for teachers to address pedophilia in the classroom. After all, if a child potentially is unable to comprehend something as common and mundane as homosexuality they will certainly not be prepared for the horrors of child sex abuse.

      It seems disingenuous to be satisfied with this single law that addresses one specific topic and yet leave every other subject ungoverned.

      1. Lionheart's Avatar Lionheart

        To a large extent I agree with you. Hopefully children are taught that no one should be touching your body and if anyone does you must tell your parents. This doesn't mean to say they need to be taught about pedophilia, which might be beyond their full comprehension. Telling a very young child that some parents are both female, or male, is perhaps all they need to know, unless they want to know more. Yes, we do occasionally have very gifted children, and those who wish to know more, such as higher mathematics, or any other topic, should not be stifled from being educated. Would calculus be good for every child, no. Would there be any value telling a young child about human procreation, perhaps not, but again, when inquisitive gifted children want to know more about this, or any other higher level education, then don't stifle their education. Thanks for your comment.

        🦁♥️

  1. Chris's Avatar Chris

    Once again the "Party of Less Government" wants to dictate by law what people are allowed to talk about. They're so worried about LGBTQ+ equality, it's almost like they're in denial themselves. Makes ya wonder, doesn't it?

    This isn't "teaching children about sex." Kids can feel a special attraction toward another child that isn't sexual. They still get mocked for it, so why would it be illegal to tell children it's okay if they like another boy or another girl more than someone else? What are you REALLY afraid of?

  1. Frank Peter Guarino's Avatar Frank Peter Guarino

    This reminds me of when I was working the front desk of a Vegas Strip Resort and a lady comes up to the counter with a boy, where the lady tells me that she doesn't want the Starbucks credit with her package because she doesn't drink coffee. Now being 27 years old and fresh out of the closet, I didn't hesitate to explain to her that's what I used to think Starbucks was all about until my boyfriend introduced me to it. I explained to her how they have teas, and frapp somethings that are like milkshakes and all sorts of stuff. The lady was puzzled and said to never mind then. Later on I noticed that the lady was talking to a manager that was also gay at the desk. Once she left he called me into the office and wanted me to explain to him why she had to explain to the 8 years old kid why a guy had a boyfriend. I explained because she's keeping him sheltered?

    Now granted that was back in 2003 and many things were different back then but the LGBT Community should not have been concealed from the kid at that age, heck Will had already kissed Jack on national TV by that time. It seems that Florida is overstepping it's reach, in regards to "sheltering" kids from the LGBT Community. The Fruits of the Spirit don't say unless they're gay or they're black or they're anything else. Rather the Fruits of the Spirit are of love, joy, peace, patience, etc. Now I would understand if there are teachers or administrators trying to jam this stuff, just like they are parts of CRT down kids throats, rather than providing a nurturing environment but parents need to remember that they aren't the only adults in kids lives. There are going to be all sorts of topics that are brought up, some not so fluent while others are. If they are discussing the roles of mommies and daddies, then yes, they should point out how some daddy roles are filled by mommies and some mommy roles are filled by daddies. Some kids only have one parent, while others may have multiple of the same sex. Most anti-blah blahs like to bring stuff to the extreme though. Example, knuckleheads that are anti-cops, say they want the cops taken out of the schools because they're afraid that the kids are intimidated by them. HELLO, the only reason why your kids should be afraid of cops is if you're a criminal. LGBT is everywhere, whether the parents like it or not, whether the parents think that they're going to be the first ones to expose their kids to it or not. Promoting an absolute dissolve of it in schools is outlandish.

  1. Douglas Robert Spindler's Avatar Douglas Robert Spindler

    If we are banning words, we should also ban God.

    1. Daniel Joseph Morse's Avatar Daniel Joseph Morse

      And I wish we could. So many stupid things in the name of gawd. So much stupid history. So many peoples lives wasted in the name of gawd. The non-specific message of the ULC suits me fine. Along with gawd, dispense with the word "race" as a means of classifying etthnicity. The only race is the "human race". Stalin found that in WWII when attempted breeding of humans and gorillas failed.

      People proud of their ignorant spirituality and religious training persecute others based on that difference.

  1. Peter M.'s Avatar Peter M.

    Every day it seems, another story about the intolerance and judgements by Christians, makes an appearance. It's hard to describe the feelings of gratitude that I don't live in the dis-United States and the sense of awed privilege of living at a time when I can observe a once-great nation tear itself apart with such ugly hostility towards each other.

    1. Kerry Ann Michel's Avatar Kerry Ann Michel

      To some extent, I agree: to believe that anyone deserves the title of "Prince of Peace", given the multitudes of writings, translated into an assortment of languages (with all the errors that implies), and only written years and generations after the facts, is a phenomenon that's puzzling. Or it would be, if we didn't have the example of the Egyptians or Greeks/Romans who had firm ideas of their own about deities . . . Man needs something to reproach or beg or thank, or - in this site - quote as an authority, and will make such a being, no matter what!

      The fact that America seems to be on the sort of slope we see as leading to the downfall of various powerful cultures is very sad. It's possible that one needs to be at a distance as the foundations crumble - and it's absolutely NOT something to gloat about!

  1. Gary Richard Noce's Avatar Gary Richard Noce

    It's the perfect example of self-righteousness, unfounded fear, lies, hate, and violence. It's simple to me. Education is freeing, it's powerful and peaceful. It is the opposite of the insane things happening in our great country.

    1. Michael Barton's Avatar Michael Barton

      Perve teachers should be arrested when talking to any student about sex outside of sex-ed class. Educate, but don't be a perve.

      1. RIchard A Basen's Avatar RIchard A Basen

        This is about being a teacher and teaching children about life. Children are very perceptive and will ask questions that most adults wouldn't. In Florida this law would outlaw educating children on topics that the governor thinks aren't 'right'. He is openly anti-minorities, and anti-lgbt. When asked questions about topics he's not comfortable with, like his hiding a million doses of COVID vaccine till they expired, or his views on Nazi demonstrators, he either walks away or has the questioner removed and even has had them arrested! One of his cabinet has said " In Florida you have all of the freedom's we think you need".

      2. Kerry Ann Michel's Avatar Kerry Ann Michel

        I'm embarrassed for you, even though I know that you're going to delete your comment - nobody wants to look that idiotic, facile or foolish in a public place.

  1. Paul Donaldson's Avatar Paul Donaldson

    We all know that everything in Florida is illegal or soon will be with that pompous ass of a governor.

  1. Rev. Rory's Avatar Rev. Rory

    As a former teacher, I can tell you that children ask all kinds of questions. A simple answer should not be unlawful but there is no reason why that answer can't direct a child back to the parent. "Teacher, why does Joe have two moms but not a dad?" Answer: "There are many types of families in the world. That is a good question and I'm sure that your family can answer that for you." When the parent calls, because they will be wondering how that subject came up, I would have a list of age appropriate books to recommend for their child if they were interested. This is not ideal in any way.

    In Florida, the only legal answer will be "I am not allowed to discuss it. Don't ask me again." If the parent doesn't reach out to the teacher, they might call the "hotline." The teacher should take immediate notes to document that the child asked a question that is illegal to answer and will need to defend themselves. Their job will be on the line. And poor Joe will be treated differently because the teacher was not allowed to talk about it and the other children will draw conclusions.

    Keep in mind that in a religious school, the teacher can answer any way that they want without breaking the law.

    Only public school children will be affected by this law.

    Laws like this create a huge difference in education from state to state. In Florida teachers also cannot teach a history lesson that might make a student feel uncomfortable. CRT is against the law. Everything is against the law. Rather authoritarian, isn't it?

    Children, especially teenagers, watch television, they watch YouTube, they watch all types of things on their iPhones. Anyone that thinks that children aren't getting pummeled with messages is fooling themselves.

    The laws put forth in Florida, including this one, have nothing to do with education. It is completely for political reasons.

  1. Mark Lee Hunt's Avatar Mark Lee Hunt

    I believe that is a good thing.let the parents teach there kids about sex not the schools.the gov is rite.srry

    1. RIchard A Basen's Avatar RIchard A Basen

      That would be a good idea, IF parents knew anything about sex or many other areas. You cant teach something that you have no idea about what it is. This law, along with a series of others are the governor's way of controlling people. They've passed laws limiting voting, limiting a woman's rights, making it illegal to publish real numbers of COVID patients, and teaching children anything that might be considered "uncomfortable". These are just a few of the things the "Small government" GOP is doing in Florida.

  1. Charles Wesley Fuller's Avatar Charles Wesley Fuller

    if you don't like what public schools(indoctrination camps) are teaching your children,take them out and teach them yourselves.it really is that easy.there are already way too mant so-called "laws" in this country,stop making more.

  1. Karen Houston's Avatar Karen Houston

    Ok I want to know, it was not ok for teachers to teach me this when I was in class. Then why is it ok now. Children should have the right to decide for them selves if they want to know these things. And if some one days what about a 5 yr old. Well I'm sorry a 5 yr old should just be that, a 5 yrs old playing out side in mud pies. My daughter is a lesbian and I'm fine with it. She loves who she loves. I didn't teach her that. She figured it out all by herself. And I definitely did not try to change her mind about it.

  1. Carl Bernard Elfstrom's Avatar Carl Bernard Elfstrom

    Give me a break, Ehrman! Daniel Gray is never seeking a high ideal, but to raise himself up above others, and put them down. It's called being egotistical. There isn't a humble bone in his body, and thinks the practice of humility is humiliating, and beneath him.

  1. Eric D Peck's Avatar Eric D Peck

    If the conservative side in this case thinks that they have a victory by restricting free speech then I do not expect to hear complaints when the other side takes that and does the same. Teachers should be given the benefit of the doubt in regards to the well being of their students on complicated topics. Any other stance is based in fear, pessimism and general intolerance. There are two positions on free speech- for and against.

  1. Jayme K Gober's Avatar Jayme K Gober

    I do not agree with this! What if a child has an LGBTQ parental unit? This is more harmful for the children than it is helpful. Florida keeps going backwards instead of forward.

  1. Robin Anne Hannon's Avatar Robin Anne Hannon

    I do not believe in sheltering kids, but I do think this is a talk a parent should have with their child or children. I believe parents should model tolerance and love to their children, along with acceptance. Jesus himself reached out to the most unlovable of his society. His love and grace changed lives. Shouldn't we model that then and teach that to our children? Why is this the school's responsibility? It's the same thing with sex education, I have no issue with it but why are schools teaching that? We need to be parents and not leave such things to the schools or the states. No, these children should not be invisible, never. But moral and ethical concerns along with certain other conversations is the domain of a Parent, not a school or State.

    1. Mark Hannon's Avatar Mark Hannon

      Prove to me that NOT talking about LGBTQ issues would stop LGBTQ children from being beat up or committing suicide. It's not just about the sexual part of life that matters. I wasn't personally picked on because I participated in vocational classes that were considered macho enough but I saw the way other boys and girls were treated. That only made me hide from the world more. I'd say you need to walk a mile in someone else's shoes.

    2. RIchard A Basen's Avatar RIchard A Basen

      Once again, Parents are not teaching kids about sex or most things in life.. They are too busy with work and their social life to be bothered by discussing 'uncomfortable' topics with their children. Florida doest want children to learn anything about sex, race or religions other than mainstream Christianity. Parents cant teach what they've never learned. Children will continue to be attacked for being 'different' because their tormentors have never been taught that the different child is actually just as normal as anyone else. Children should know that a handicapped child, gay child, or different skin colored child is just like them.This has nothing to do with morals other than "Treating others as you would want to be treated". The state is deciding what you can and cant do or teach. This law is just the tip of the iceberg of control.

  1. Larry Mager's Avatar Larry Mager

    All I will say on this is that I didn't learn about LGBT issues until I was about 12 years old and my Dad sat me down for the "Birds and the Bees" talk. I grew up in a fairly liberal family and the adults felt that it was THEIR duty to tell us, NOT the Grade school! I'm from SW Illinois, btw.

    1. Carl Bernard Elfstrom's Avatar Carl Bernard Elfstrom

      Larry, I've been on se retreats in Belleville, Illinois, at Shrine Of Our Lady Of The Snows, many years ago, when I was active with the Galveston chapter of Victorious Missionaries. Belleville is right across the river from St.Louis, where we always flew to and from Houston, Hobby Airport. That's truly a beautiful part of the country. I've also driven as far north as Quincy, in a '67 Mustang (with six holes in the radiator), back down here to Galveston, in 1987, listening to Guns n Roses all the way.

      1. flugo's Avatar flugo

        'sea bee': So what?! Whoop-ti-doo!

        1. Carl Bernard Elfstrom's Avatar Carl Bernard Elfstrom

          Flugo, are you drunk? If you were coherent and paying attention you'd know that my above post was addressed to Larry Mager, and not you, your Excellency. If you can't keep up with the conversation you need to go sit in the corner, until you sober up.

          1. John D. Partin's Avatar John D. Partin

            Carla, you have commented on my posts to other people and everyone is commenting on people's posts to other people? Are all of you and all of us drunk, according to your standard?! When anyone posts anything in here, it becomes everyone's subject for them to comment on, not just the person that you are writing to! If you don't want anyone other than whom you are talking to commenting on your posts, don't put them in here because that is what is going to happen!! This is a party line!! Or else you go sit in the corner, until you sober up!! Why don't you already know that and take that into consideration before making such comments as above?

  1. Daniel Gray's Avatar Daniel Gray

    Oh give me a damn break! 3rd grade kids cant even decide what kind of clothes they like or books or movies, you really expect anyone with any sense to claim they know they are gay or not? Ok PROVE IT. you cant so get over it.

    1. Tom's Avatar Tom

      I have known plenty of 3rd graders who have very strong opinions about the clothes, books, and movies they like. Since, I think it's safe to assume, you are not gay, how would you know at what age a person becomes aware of their sexuality (who they are attracted to). I knew in 1st grade (maybe even kindergarten) that I was attracted to girls and not boys. I can't imagine what it would be like as a homosexual child to see heterosexuality acknowledged but have my teacher legally unable to tell me that my homosexuality exists, let alone that it's not abnormal.

      1. Daniel Gray's Avatar Daniel Gray

        Sure you do. And yet you have given no evidence to back you up.

        1. Tom's Avatar Tom

          And neither have you...

          1. Daniel Gray's Avatar Daniel Gray

            Sorry but even the psychiatrists have agreed with me and so does their national group. try again

            1. Carl Bernard Elfstrom's Avatar Carl Bernard Elfstrom

              Are you referring to your psychiatrists Daniel? So, you have to be seen by a whole group of them, eh? I'm not at all surprised.

    2. Douglas Robert Spindler's Avatar Douglas Robert Spindler

      Boy are you out of touch with reality, Third graders and younger can have very strong opinions. Young children at that age ARE attracted to people of same and other sex at that age as well as their teachers.

      1. Carl Bernard Elfstrom's Avatar Carl Bernard Elfstrom

        In fourth grade, at St. Patrick's Elementary, during recess I ran up to a girl, and kissed her. I thought it would turn her on, but instead she screamed. You can bet your bottom dollar I never kissed her again. Another fourth graders was doing with a girl often, on the side steps of the church. And we were both altar boys at that church.

        1. Carl Bernard Elfstrom's Avatar Carl Bernard Elfstrom

          Can y'all tell why my childhood idol was Huckleberry Finn. If not, keep reading.

      2. Daniel Gray's Avatar Daniel Gray

        and you are so wrong your hair is brown. Even the MD's and PHd's are saying the same thing as I do. So lets see you refute them

        1. Carl Bernard Elfstrom's Avatar Carl Bernard Elfstrom

          I've heard many medical doctors quack just like 🦆.

        2. Carl Bernard Elfstrom's Avatar Carl Bernard Elfstrom

          Like many, my hair was brown, until it turned gray, but now I have brown hair again, and white teeth too!

      3. Carl Bernard Elfstrom's Avatar Carl Bernard Elfstrom

        Douglas, please be careful about what you say in reference to Daniel Gray's comments, if you don't want to hear her cry. She's one of those overly sensitive, feminine types who's highly emotional, and easily offended. She proves that to us, everytime.

    3. Carl Bernard Elfstrom's Avatar Carl Bernard Elfstrom

      It sounds like our good buddy Daniel Gray had a much different childhood than the rest of us. It sounds like he may have been a sheltered child, with authority figures making every decision for him, to the extent he wasn't capable of knowing he could make such decisions for himself, at a much earlier age, if he was smart enough. I'm glad he grew out of that, and is very mature now.

      1. Daniel Gray's Avatar Daniel Gray

        Awww whats wrong carls, mad because you cant refute what I have said so you resort to calling names. If you wanted to say you were gay then go right ahead. You dont need to try and put your sexuality on me. You wont be judged.

        1. Carl Bernard Elfstrom's Avatar Carl Bernard Elfstrom

          Well Daniel, you certainly are an outspoken, loudmouth, know it all. That's one thing we know about you for sure. And why would anyone among us ever care to refute that silly crap you bring up. You never mention anything that any of us are ever interested in.

        2. Carl Bernard Elfstrom's Avatar Carl Bernard Elfstrom

          There she goes, proving her highly emotional femininity to us again, and immature defensiveness. I bet Daniel Gray is still a child. Iether that, or in his second childhood.

  1. Rev. Elizabeth's Avatar Rev. Elizabeth

    I feel for my older cousin. Her parents gave her the name of Gay. We never looked at her name meaning nothing but gaiety, happiness, fun. Now she gives her middle name when meeting new people. She has had negative reactions to her name. She is a wonderful lady who loves all. This is absolutely Crazy saying we can’t use the word Gay. I will continue to use it in its proper meaning. People, use a dictionary to show you that it is a lovely word.

    I even feel bad for my other cousin, Karen and my mother for the name Sally and my Dad’s side of the family, Johnson. I always have to say my Johnson’s are from Sweden and Ireland, not the southern states in America.

    I bet you feel the same about words that affect your family.

    God Bless you all Rev. Elizabeth S. Arsenault

    1. Carl Bernard Elfstrom's Avatar Carl Bernard Elfstrom

      I can't relate well 5o full blooded Swedes. Even though my last name is Swedish I'm only of 1//8 Swedish descent, Elizabeth. I do relate well to people named Elizabeth though, and asked Elizabeth Garcia to marry me 27 times in fifteen years, both before and after her last marriage, to my old buddy Jay Mabry. She finally said if I'd buy her a house she'd marry me. Needless to say, I'm still single, and still searching for the right Elizabeth. My stepfather's sister's name is Gayla, but I always call her Gay. The way she acts, it seems to fit her well. Even though she'd prefer me to call her Aunt Gayla, in the 46 years that I've known her she hasn't yet earned that term of endearment. Atleast I don't call her Aunt Gay-Gay, although I must say I have thought about it.

      1. Rev. Elizabeth's Avatar Rev. Elizabeth

        Thank you for responding to my post Mr. Elfstrom. My brother's name is Carl. He is my half brother and a Jr. We call him Cal. I raised him. My mother was at an age she just let him do what he wanted. So I was his Mom and teacher and learned he was different. He is smart but later I learned he was severe dyslexic. They had a name to it but no tool to help those like my brother. I learned how to help him and if my Mom could see him now. He bought a house with his girlfriend. We never thought he would ever own a home. My Mom had to die for that to happen. When she died he paid attention to me more and realized there are rules in the world. I actually had to teach him about certain words are not accepted in our society. I taught him to go to the dictionary (no computers then). He see's Gay, Homo, sexual, and more. He gets upset when people uses our mother's name in a negative term. He's learned not to react. Children are going to learn these stupid rules. If you educate your child about the new way words are used now, in a negative way, then you don't have to worry about him messing up. Anyway, my question to you Carl, are you seriously looking just to for Elizabeth's or a woman that you have in your head? Good luck sir. God Speed and God Bless

  1. Susan Claire Schloeder's Avatar Susan Claire Schloeder

    I'm sorry, but that's ridiculous. It sounds like they're only gonna make it illegal for the schools to be Teaching that . It doesn't say not to support the children if they are gay or whatever. School is not the place to discuss gender identity or sexual orientation

    1. RIchard A Basen's Avatar RIchard A Basen

      Sue, then where is? Parents cant teach anything they've never learned themselves. They also refuse to discuss 'uncomfortable' topics. The law wants LGBT kids to disappear into the woodwork. How would you feel if you were told that your life, your entire being is wrong... what would you do? Many of these kids are tortured and bullied until they react... either they commit suicide or attack their tormenter. The highest suicide rates in the US are from LGBT teens. I've taken in and cared for almost 20 older teens who were abandoned by parents.. Nice 'christian' thing to do to your child.

      1. Susan Claire Schloeder's Avatar Susan Claire Schloeder

        Can't they teach acceptance of individuals regardless of sexual orientation? I have a problem with sexualizing elementary school children. My grandchildren have friends that are gay, or feel they might be, and it's not an issue. The bullying starts more in middle school. By that age, yes, teachers should be able to teach tolerance and acceptance.
        The thing inside us, our soul/spirit, has no gender. If we truly love someone from the inside, it doesn't matter if they're the same sex or not. Maybe if the teaching was more about love than sex, it would be ok to talk to young children about it. I don't know. I just don't think little kids need to think about sex. I'm old fashioned I guess. Love to all

        1. Ilmenheru Terikson's Avatar Ilmenheru Terikson

          You make a fundamental mistake so many do, in that you correlate discussing gender, and romantic interest with sexual material. Do you think a person can not look at a nude image as only art work if I may ask out of curiosity?

          You should consider researching the most cutting edge research in education and child rearing shows. We are really fully capable of understanding anything we can as so called adults, at a fairly young age of 4 or 5. People with dumb kids made their kids dumb by not getting them access to good material.

          Hell studies just with house holds where kids watch meaningless cartoons not even meant for kids like the simpsons, vs were the kids watch shows like sesame street show a massive difference in basic comprehension ability.

          At what age did you first get taught about valentines day by chance? I know we did it in my 1st grade class, and being it was the 80s we only put our valentines in the girls paper mail box on her desk if we were boys, and a boy if a girl. Imagine if any of those kids in my class were starting to feel that heart feeling for the same gender but were given no indication on a way express those feelings in a healthy way.

          I will part with this personal detail. I was raised a nudist. I went to nude beaches and the like from an age as young as I can recall. When i went through a shy phase I wore trunks and no one cared one way or another. I always knew the very specific differences between the male and female form. The curves and private bits of the female form never held any mystery for me, and as such I frankly feel it let me have far less pressure then the average hormone driven teen age boy who only had the fires of imagination and pictures from porn mags to feed their growing desires.

          I also grew up in rural ranch and farm life. We do not get the luxury of sheltering kids from what sex is, how babies happen, and that sex can be a bad thing when for example a large bull gets on a too small young cow and does her harm.

          If anything maybe the issue is that kids are being too sheltered from the basic mechanics of organic life.

          1. Susan Claire Schloeder's Avatar Susan Claire Schloeder

            Comment removed by user.

          2. Susan Claire Schloeder's Avatar Susan Claire Schloeder

            You were taught at home. 🥰

  1. Susan Claire Schloeder's Avatar Susan Claire Schloeder

    I'm sorry, but that's ridiculous. It sounds like they're only gonna make it illegal for the schools to be Teaching that . It doesn't say not to support the children if they are gay or whatever. School is not the place to discuss gender identity or sexual orientation

    1. SueW's Avatar SueW

      Have you read the full text of the law?

      1. Carl Bernard Elfstrom's Avatar Carl Bernard Elfstrom

        Sue, I have a copy of the U.S. Constitution and Bill Of Rights sitting on my Windsor console table, across the room from where I'm sitting. Would you like me to look something up for you? I would be only too happy to oblige.

  1. Carl Bernard Elfstrom's Avatar Carl Bernard Elfstrom

    Thankyou, Mr. Guarino. I very much agree with you.

  1. Michael Barton's Avatar Michael Barton

    Any teacher that tries to talk to a little kid about sex should be arrested. There's no need to talk to kids about sex outside of sex-ed class.

    1. Cheryl Pettijohn's Avatar Cheryl Pettijohn

      There is a difference between sex ed and acknowledging same sex parents and identities.

      1. Carl Bernard Elfstrom's Avatar Carl Bernard Elfstrom

        I bet those sex Ed classes don't even explain how same sex parents have sex, Cheryl.

    2. Carl Bernard Elfstrom's Avatar Carl Bernard Elfstrom

      But what if a teacher has the boys for her students, Michael? A lot can be done in a teacher's lounge in between classes, you know. I've had some fun with some teachers, in between classes, but I was always the instigator. And I always had As in those classes,too. Just food for thought. Something a horny kid might want to think about.

  1. John Casillo's Avatar John Casillo

    The train is so far off the track....it will never reach the station...or is that never leave the station....maybe both....jesus loves queers....hmmmm....who among you has been born by a man?.....how gay!!!!!.............Rev john

    1. Carl Bernard Elfstrom's Avatar Carl Bernard Elfstrom

      If that train ever gets back on track Casillo, it will end up at Folsom Prison, and there's nothing but gay sex going on in there. And Johnny Cash will be looking down from heaven, singing a song about that train, and praying for them.

  1. Rev. Rory's Avatar Rev. Rory

    Comment removed by user.

  1. Lady Celynia's Avatar Lady Celynia

    I don't think sex should be discussed in school until about age 10. I actually wish schools would go back to teaching grammar, literature, math, science and history. Teaching those, and teaching them well, will take most of the school day. There wouldn't be time for sexualizing children.

    1. Tom's Avatar Tom

      Acknowledging that LGBTQ people exist is far from teaching sex to children.

  1. Carl Bernard Elfstrom's Avatar Carl Bernard Elfstrom

    Comment has been removed.

  1. Daniel Ginther's Avatar Daniel Ginther

    This needs to stay out of the classroom, but needs to stay in the limelight, suicides because of this issue is real. No I don’t have an answer

  1. Michael Dwayne Cooper's Avatar Michael Dwayne Cooper

    The Bill doesn't say a student can't talk about gayness or ask for help. It says teachers are not to be teaching about homosexuality to younger students and then also not to teach it as a norm to older students.

  1. Kurt Neuleuf's Avatar Kurt Neuleuf

    What is the worlds obsession with homosexuality? Is it the desire from some sections of society to dominate and vilify ? Have they already run out of "others" (not like us in some way) The tall poppy syndrome? where we see ourselves gaining power and status by Oppressing a large section of our society? In Brisbane QLD Au there is a Christian school CITIPOINTE COLLEGE who demand parents sign a legal binding contract that they (the Parents) do not teach their children, or allow contact with, homosexuality and any identification with non biological genders. ( ABC + SBS News 2-2-2022). This immediately vilifyies children of same sex couples, gender non specific parents and all the rest of the gay community. This school gets $14.4 million dollars as year from the public purse. They are True Christians. This issue is world wide.

  1. Carl Bernard Elfstrom's Avatar Carl Bernard Elfstrom

    I have a strong feeling that flugo only ever writes on this blog when he's intoxicated, and Daniel Gray's usually high on peyote that he gets from the Cherokee reservation, where he lives, as a burdache, in a teepee.

  1. Robert N Clarkson's Avatar Robert N Clarkson

    It all depends upon whether or not there is any pro or con bias in the classroom and that becomes an issue. My life experiences show that some persons are naturally attracted to their own gender and repelled by the other. Others are experimenting and some are influenced by peer pressures or by a need to please authority figures. Abused or recruited experimenters are then recruited being told they like it so they are and can’t turn back! This happened to a high school friend who had been seduced by a charismatic choir teacher, a pediophile. Confused, the boy withdrew and eventually committed suicide. The same teacher came on to me during lunch break in his office and when I informed the principal, I was the one in trouble for accusing such a highly respected teacher! I had a broader knowledge an my peers at the time because although sheltered from graphic deals, I had been taught about VD and warned about predators or strangers by my parents.

    In the 1980s I worked as a consultant with a female computer store assistant manager, one day I asked her out she said she liked me but was gay. We still socialized as friends and she told me her story, she had had a traumatic relationship and when recovering was recruited to participate in a gay support group by her priest, that lead to back room hook ups in a chain adult video store in her university town and she enjoyed the gay lifestyle and that it became her security social group of choice.

    Years later I became an assistant drama teacher in the local high school, my boss and other English teachers constantly complained about a social science, current events teacher who had organized a BGLTQ+ support club at the school. I’d go downtown to a new age hangout coffee bar in the mornings and often see that teacher during his morning class break having coffee with one or two of his students.

    These are all a few personal experiences from my life's associations over many years. Just to illustrate the problems faced by society being politically correct and placing not offending over freedom of choice and from

    1. Ilmenheru Terikson's Avatar Ilmenheru Terikson

      Why are you bringing up a bunch of suspect personal experiences? That is not how a person of logic and reason constructs a world view. Frankly I doubt everything you say and your past posts in these threads leads me to suspect your motivations.

      You fail to give any context like what years these events occur in, and a great many details that would be needed to make one think they true, and that we could then discuss for example the treatment of people being openly gay during a given era.

      You also do not seem to understand that pedophilia has nothing to do with gender preferences. A child predator will abuse children of both genders, its more about when they can then anything else. However you should understand that term is not applicable to for example high school aged kids, though that is still a clearly negative situation. It sounds to me the way you wrote it more that your friend was raped, and then self destructed because they had no social support, which is sadly a very common outcome to sexual assault, and has nothing to do with being recruited as you put it.

    2. Jean's Avatar Jean

      Your personal anecdotes are incomplete, irrelevant, & unconvincing. Try again. Be honest this time. Oh, and it's "LGBTQIA". Or perhaps you're dyslexic; if so, I apologize for any offense I may have given. I'm going to say this again for the sake of clarity: WE DON'T RECRUIT. We don't need to. These feelings occur naturally. They have been doing so since Biblical times and before. I know you don't believe that, but your belief is not required for something to be true. Also: WE'RE NOT PEDOPHILES. A pedophile is someone who is sexually drawn to children. Some prefer one gender over another, but will prey on whatever is available. You might consider actually doing some research into some peer-reviewed articles and/or books addressing the subject. The Courage to Heal by Ellen Bass and Laura Davis is a good start. Then there's Victims No Longer by Mike Lew. The Wounded Heart by Dan Allender is geared toward Christians. Patrick Carnes wrote Out of the Shadows: Understanding Sexual Addiction, addressing the perpetrators of sexual abuse. Those should provide some food for thought, prayer, and tears over actual facts.

  1. Robert N Clarkson's Avatar Robert N Clarkson

    Comment removed by user.

  1. Alice Anderson's Avatar Alice Anderson

    I apologize now if I offend anyone. But I would rather teach my own kids and grandchildren about sexuality. They can choose to love whom ever they want. But it's their choice. They should not be taught. I feel it's a private subject.

  1. Bradley Ray Eberenz's Avatar Bradley Ray Eberenz

    I believe Children's lives at home and personnel preferences are to be left at home! Teachers jobs are to educate and thats it! Anything outside Math Reading And Writing are the job of parents.Children are our future and we should protect,nurture and love them as God loves us.

  1. Jean's Avatar Jean

    People, I don't think any school in Florida or any other state - below college level - is adding "LGBTQIA Crash Course" to their curriculum! But if you LOOK at the stats, you can easily see how 'at risk' these kids can be. Thank the gods I had teachers who didn't restrict our classroom discussions to "Readin', Writin', & 'Rithmatic!" If you think socialization doesn't belong in school, you must think we're raising a society of A.I.s. And you better stock up on duct tape, because that's the only way you're going to prevent socialization in any setting with more than one human present.

    By the way, while I'm up here on my soap box, if anyone has a copy of The Gay Agenda, could you forward it to me? I seem to have misplaced mine, I've evidently dropped off the Secret Mailing List, & I keep missing the Secret Meetings... and any literature you have that explains why anyone in their right mind would actually want to RECRUIT folks into a "lifestyle" that makes them the target of violence, discrimination, public shaming, legislative censure, condemnation, rejection by their families & friends, hiding in the closet or being subjected to the vilest of treatment, threats, destruction of property... I could go on... but those of you who think we actually have an agenda & are actively recruiting children to our cause, please... think about what you're suggesting. And get out of the Kool-Aid!!

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