Floridians are still talking about the state’s new law on gender lessons

A roundup of Florida education news from around the state.
Protests such as this one by the St. Pete Pier have taken place across Florida against the controversial bill on gender lessons and health services in schools that Gov. Ron DeSantis signed into law this week.
Protests such as this one by the St. Pete Pier have taken place across Florida against the controversial bill on gender lessons and health services in schools that Gov. Ron DeSantis signed into law this week. [ MARTHA ASENCIO-RHINE | Times ]
Published March 30, 2022

The big story: A day later, Floridians were still talking about the new law restricting gender lessons in schools.

Much of the conversation centered on what the bill might do. Some of the language is vague, leaving it open to interpretation.

The Miami Herald offered an annotated version of the measure. • NPR talked to some Florida teachers about how they’re expecting the law to play out in classes. • Bill supporters pointed to an MSNBC interview with a Miami teacher who said he wanted to be able to tell his kindergartners about his personal life as a reason why the law is needed, Fox News reports.

The Sarasota County school district, one of six whose procedures were criticized by Gov. Ron DeSantis, updated its rules to require parent consent for teachers using students’ requested pronouns, WTSP reports. • DeSantis told a national radio show Tuesday that he anticipated the law will be enforced differently in different parts of the state, Florida Politics reports.

Where did the idea for the new law come from? It’s rooted largely in a two-year-old lawsuit filed by a Leon County parent, the Tallahassee Democrat reports.

Some people calling bill critics “groomers.” Why is that? The Associated Press explored that issue.

Meanwhile, the bill’s House sponsor returned political contributions from Disney after the company criticized the measure, Florida Politics reports. Opposition to the law from other business leaders is slowly gaining steam, CNBC reports.

Other hot topics

Taxes: The Lake County School Board wants to ask voters to continue a local-option property tax to support school safety measures, WKMG reports.

Elections: House Early Learning and Elementary Education subcommittee chairperson Vance Aloupis, a Miami Republican, announced he will not seek another term, Florida Politics reports. Aloupis, who prioritized preschool programs, said he wants to spend more time with his family.

COVID vaccines: About 56 percent of Duval County school employees took advantage of a district offer of $200 to get vaccinated, the Florida Times-Union reports.

School news

The Broward County school district has two new top administrators. The newly appointed deputy superintendents worked with superintendent Vickie Cartwright previously, the Sun-Sentinel reports. Each will be paid more than $200,000 a year.

An Alachua County middle school is slated for major renovations next fall. About 800 students will take classes at a “swing” campus of portable classrooms during construction, the Gainesville Sun reports.

That’s some nasty weather. Panhandle school districts canceled after-school activities with the threat of tornadoes looming, the Pensacola News-Journal reports.

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From the police blotter ... An Orange County high school teacher was arrested on accusations of having sex with a student, WFTV reports. • A Broward County teen is facing charges after allegations of pouring bleach on another student, WSVN reports.

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