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Orange County Schools release guide outlining pronoun use in class

Orange County Schools will release a special guide for parents regarding how preferred pronouns can be used at school.
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Orange County Schools released a special guide for parents on Monday around preferred pronoun use.

Orange County Schools on Monday, December 4 released a special guide for parents regarding how preferred pronouns can be used at school. Students can use preferred pronouns as long as they get written or emailed permission from a parent or guardian.

Under an expansion of the Parental Rights in Education or so-called Don’t Say Gay law, teachers are required to use pronouns that align with a student's sex assigned at birth.

The Orange County School Board asked Education Commissioner Manny Diaz to clarify the law. The board interpreted his response to mean that students with parental permission can use preferred pronouns.

Equality Florida’s Anita Carson said this is a win for LGBTQ students and teachers alike.

“This is an invaluable tool for educators that are in Orange County Public Schools, because it gives them guidance about what they will be able to be backed up by the district itself,” said Carson.

Carson said many teachers are afraid to lose their jobs if they don’t follow the law.

“Because the state has been so reticent to give guidance or to give clarification on a lot of the laws and the policies that are coming out of the State Board of Education. Having guidance from your district itself is incredibly useful.”

Gov. Ron DeSantis and supporters of the law say it’s needed to avoid confusion on the part of students.

Students in Broward, Hillsborough, Palm Beach, and Pinellas school districts can also use preferred pronouns if mom and dad give permission.

Page through the full guide here:

Danielle Prieur is WMFE's education reporter.
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