© 2023 90.7 WMFE. All Rights Reserved.
Public Media News for Central Florida
Play Live Radio
Next Up:
0:00 0:00
Available On Air Stations

Bathroom debate heats up in Florida with new policy enacted

Florida Governor Ron DeSantis adjusts his collar during a press conference announcing expanded toll relief for Florida commuters, Wednesday, Sept. 7, 2022, in Miami, Fla. (AP Photo/Rebecca Blackwell)

Transgender kids in Florida schools will only be allowed to use the bathroom or locker room aligning with their gender identity if districts notify parents ahead of time. 

The Florida Department of Education passed the new policy on Wednesday at its monthly meeting.

School districts that allow transgender students to use bathrooms or locker rooms consistent with their gender identity must now post the policy on the district website. 

Parents must also be notified by letter of the policy. The letter will detail the exact facilities that transgender kids can use and whether security measures will be in place. 

Connie Rook spoke out against these rules. 

“Do you think that because someone is gay, they're automatically a predator. When people in our community perpetuate rumors, accusations and lies about LGBTQ people, that's exactly what they're insinuating. Rhetoric, like this rule fans the flames of hate, discrimination and puts a target on the back of every LGBTQ student in our community. You're setting them up for harassment, bullying, violence and even more anxiety and depression.”

Supporters of the policy say it will protect kids in shared spaces like bathrooms where they could be assaulted. 

Jennifer Domain is with Moms for Liberty, a conservative group of parents who have advocated for more parental rights in the state. 

“I think allowing students to change bathrooms according to gender identification poses a safety risk for all other students. I want my child to feel safe when he goes to school and uses the bathroom. And I want to know my child’s safe when he goes to school and uses the bathroom.”

These rules won’t apply to faculty or staff restrooms where only adults are present. 

Danielle Prieur is a general assignment reporter and fill-in host at WMFE.
90.7 WMFE relies on donors like you. Your support allows us to provide independent, trustworthy journalism and fact-based content. Show your support today by contributing on a monthly basis or making a single online donation.