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Mast Academy, Pembroke Pines Charter Students Walk Out To Protest 'Don't Say Gay' Bill

MIAMI (CBSMiami) - Students in Miami-Dade and Broward Counties walked out of their classrooms Thursday to protest the so-called "Don't Say Gay" bill.

The Florida Senate approved the bill earlier this week sparking demonstrations across the country.

Hundreds of students at Pembroke Pines Charter School and Mast Academy walked out of their classrooms protesting the bill.

The organizer of the Mast Academy protest is a high schooler, who's passionate about equal rights.

LGBTQ+ flags soared and students held handmade signs as they rallied outside of their schools.

The controversial "Don't Say Gay" bill passed in the Florida Senate and now is headed to the governor's desk for his signature.

"I think everyone that can, should speak up about this because it's not right," said Kamilah Gurdin, the Organizer of protest at Mast Academy.

She hopes the demonstrations will deter Governor Ron DeSantis from signing the bill.

"We're waiting for Desantis to sign it or not and he probably will so I thought now more than ever, I need to do this and I need to do it right away," she explained.

The 'don't say gay' bill prevents schools from including material about sexual orientation or gender identity in their curriculums from kindergarten to third grade. It would allow parents to sue schools or teachers that teach about LGBTQ+ role models.

"If there is somebody a part of that group at a young age and they're aware of their sexual identity they're being oppressed," said Mast Academy Junior, Mia Maniaci.

This isn't the only bill under scrutiny.

On Thursday, the Florida Senate passed a bill that bans the teaching of Critical Race Theory in public schools and private businesses.

The bill is moving forward, despite the fact that Critical Race Theory isn't taught in South Florida Schools. Previously, DeSantis had shown support for both bills.

"I might just be 16, but I think I should have a say in who I marry and who I like, who I can be and how I can express myself. I don't think it should come from someone who doesn't know me," said Gabriela Daza, a Mast Academy Student.

Gabriela Daza said there was a time when she didn't feel comfortable being herself and she wants to prevent anyone else from feeling that way.

"It might help other people who are struggling with the same thing," said Daza.

On Wednesday, hundreds of Cypress Bay High students staged a walkout over the controversial 'Don't Say Gay' bill.

Both bills head to Governor DeSantis next.

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