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The "Don't Say Gay" bill has been approved by the Florida Senate. An Orange County teacher reflects on what this means for LGBTQ people

Photo: Pixabay
Photo: Pixabay

The Florida Senate has approved the so-called “Don’t Say Gay” bill that would limit some conversations about gender identity and sexuality in K-12 classrooms. The bill is headed to the governor’s desk next, where he is expected to sign it into law. 

The bill would ban discussions of gender identity and sexuality in kindergarten through 3rd grade classrooms throughout the state. 

But Clinton McCracken, an art teacher at Howard Middle School who is gay, is afraid of the impact the bill could have on LGBTQ kids in every grade.

“The bill basically tells them, tells us, tells teachers like me, I do identify as gay, and it tells the LGBTQ community that there’s something inappropriate about them. Something inappropriate about their lives.”

He says it’s the wider message that the bill sends that is particularly troubling.

“We live in a state that just told us that we are less than other people in this state. Ron DeSantis and the legislators who have voted for this bigotry and homophobia have just told thousands of people in this state including our most vulnerable kids that they are worth less.”

Gov. Ron DeSantis has indicated he plans on signing the bill into law this week. 

Danielle Prieur is WMFE's education reporter.