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Florida Gov. Ron DeSantisJoe Raedle/Getty Images

TALLAHASSEE (LifeSiteNews) — The administration of conservative Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis proposed a new rule this week that would expand the state’s Parental Rights in Education law to include grades 4-12. 

The proposal, released by the Florida State Board of Education, would modify Florida schools’ “principles of professional conduct” to ban lessons on gender and sexual identity in all grade levels starting at kindergarten, while in grades 4-12, such lessons would be banned unless “expressly required by Florida academic standards or as part of a class on reproductive health. If the lesson is part of a health class, then parents could chose to pull their children from it. 

Violations of the proposed rule would include possible teacher suspensions or the loss of a teaching license.  

A vote by the Florida Department of Education for the proposal is scheduled to take place next month. Further, the measure does not need legislative approval for enforcement. 

When asked for comment by Axios, DeSantis spokesman Bryan Griffin referred to a tweet he posted reading “There is no reason for instruction on sexual orientation or gender identity to be part of K-12 public education. Full stop.  

A representative from the Department of Education likewise directed the outlet to a tweet posted by Florida Commissioner of Education Manny Diaz, Jr., which reads, 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.

Reacting to the rule change, Biden press secretary Karine Jean-Pierre said that the proposal was “completely, utterly wrong.”  

“Make no mistake, this is part of a disturbing and dangerous trend that we’re seeing across the country of legislation that are anti-LGBTQI+, anti-trans in a way we have not seen in some time,” she continued. “We’re talking about students, we’re talking about educators, we’re talking about just individuals.” 

DeSantis signed the Parental Rights in Education law last March. According to provisions of the law, teachers at Florida schools cannot discuss gender or sexual identity with K-3 students. As a result, the law was lambasted as the “Don’t Say Gay” bill. The law also became a point of contention between DeSantis and the Walt Disney Company, with the entertainment giant protesting the law and pledging to work for its repeal.

DeSantis took away Disney’s right of self-governance over its parks in Florida last month in response.

The law took effect last July, before and after which time Florida schools attempted to remove materials to abide by the law. 

The proposed rule change also follows a series of bills in the Florida legislature that would expand upon the Parental Rights law.  

A state Senate bill, for instance, would prohibit teachers from telling students their pronouns as well as asking students for theirs, in addition to expanding the law to include grades up to eighth grade.