county Lee state Florida gender identity ticker county Lee state Florida

School District: Transgender Students Must Submit Parental Consent Form

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WBBH. “It’s going to keep some of them in the closet when they really should be coming out.”Sharon McGill, a member of the district’s equity committee, said the forms were put in place to protect children and teachers from running afoul of Florida’s “Don’t Say Gay” law, which prohibits discussions of LGBTQ content in primary grades and requires that such topics be “age-appropriate or developmentally appropriate” in older grades.“There are laws now in the state that teachers can’t call a student a name if it’s not their correct name,” McGill said, referring to the law.The ACLU of Florida expressed concerns about the proposed parental notification form.  “With HB 1557 in effect, the ‘Don’t Say Gay’ law has already begun to stigmatize LGBTQ+ people, isolate LGBTQ+ kids, and make teachers fearful of providing a welcoming and inclusive classroom,” the ACLU of Florida said in a statement. “Without adequate guidelines from the school board on how this personal information will be used in schools, it is uncertain whether these forms could potentially serve as another way to isolate and harm transgender youth.”District officials say that no student is forced to fill out the form against their will and that it is not intended to single out transgender students.“If they choose not to have accommodations they can certainly use their pronouns with friends at school but now if they want to [have accommodations] we have to involve parents,” Jessica Duncan, the executive director of student services at Lee County Schools.The school board said that every situation that could arise from a transitioning child would be dealt with on a case-by-case basis.

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