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Proposed expansion of 'Don't Say Gay' rule draws criticism from some, support from others

Gov. DeSantis seeks to expand Don't Say Gay rule
Gov. DeSantis seeks to expand Don't Say Gay rule 02:49

TALLAHASSEE -- Gov. Ron DeSantis has made his stance on discussions about sexual orientation and gender identity in schools very clear.

The governor first signed the controversial bill that critics refer to as the "Don't Say Gay bill" last year.

The legislation initially applied to students in kindergarten through third grade, but now the DeSantis Administration is proposing a rule that would forbid those conversations through 12th grade.

Proposal would expand so-called "Don't Say Gay" through 12th grade 01:59

The Florida Board of Education is set to vote on the rule next month. If it passes, it means that any teacher who discusses these topics could be fired and have their teaching license revoked.

"It would be a double down on book censorship," said Joe Saunders, senior political director of Equality Florida. "It would be a double down on intimidation for teachers and it would be a double down sweeping censorship in K-12 public classrooms and would do enormous harm."

The White House criticized the proposed expansion.

"It's wrong. It's completely, utterly wrong and we've been very crystal clear about that when it comes to the Don't Say Gay bill," said Karin Jean-Pierre, White House Press Secretary.

Florida Commissioner of Education Manny Diaz Jr. quickly responded to the White House's comment with a tweet that said, "Students should be spending their time in school learning core academic subjects, not being force-fed radical gender and sexual ideology. In Florida, we're preserving the right of kids to be kids."

Protesters in Fort Lauderdale vented their frustrations to the Broward County School Board Wednesday afternoon.

While Governor DeSantis and his supporters believe the topic of sexual orientation and gender identity are inappropriate in schools, others argue that it discriminates against the LGBTQ+ community.

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