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Florida Gov. DeSantis Signs Parental Rights Measure Into Law

TALLAHASSEE (CBSMiami/NSF) - Gov. Ron DeSantis on Tuesday signed a measure that will put into state law a series of rights for parents on issues related to education and health care.

The Republican-controlled Legislature passed the bill (HB 241) in April in a 78-37 vote in the House and a 24-15 vote in the Senate.

In part, the bill will codify into law a parent's right to "direct the education and care of his or her minor child," which will include a right to "access and review all school records" related to a student.

Senate sponsor Ray Rodrigues, R-Estero, told The News Service of Florida in April that the bill will make parents' rights "easy to find" in state law.

"What we are seeing is government power is slowly encroaching and expanding. It will do so until the parents assert the rights that they have, but they have to know what those rights are in order to assert them," Rodrigues said.

But the bill drew opposition, at least in part, because of concerns about potential harm to LGBTQ students.

"We have concerns that this bill as filed could compel schools to out LGBTQ youth who face unsupportive or dangerous home environments. Schools are also often the first place where youth disclose abuse," the advocacy group Equality Florida said in April on its website.

(©2021 CBS Local Media. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed. The News Service of Florida contributed to this report.)

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