(LifeSiteNews) – New guidelines passed earlier this week by the Florida Board of Education require schools to notify parents of any pro-LGBT policies, including rules that enable “transgender” students to use bathrooms not designated for their biological sex.
On October 15, the department announced several “administrative rules” that were enacted to continue the work of Gov. Ron DeSantis to increase parental rights in the state’s public schools.
“The State Board of Education unanimously voted to require parental notification for any student bathrooms, locker rooms and dressing rooms that are not separated by biological sex at birth,” a press release states. The rules also include a plan to “establish a special magistrate for parents to address unresolved student welfare complaints at public charter schools” and “prevent the unauthorized sharing of students’ personal identifying information with third-party vendors and others.”
Additionally, the guidelines seek to “increase the transparency of elementary school library materials and reading lists — thereby eliminating inappropriate, indoctrinating and pornographic materials in libraries and classrooms.”
According to a September notice of the then-proposed rule, the purpose of the move is “to protect the fundamental rights of parents” and “ensure full transparency to enhance the health, safety and welfare of students when utilizing bathrooms and locker rooms and protect parental rights.”
“This rule will allow both students and parents to have full knowledge if bathrooms and locker rooms will not be separated by biological sex at birth,” the notice continues. “Therefore, allowing them to make informed decisions and requests for accommodations or modification.”
Other specific amendments include prohibiting the teaching of sexual orientation and gender identity to children in kindergarten through 3rd grade as well as providing parents with the ability to search what their elementary students have access to within the school library system.
The rule also explains “the process for a parent to request that the Commissioner of Education appoint a special magistrate to hear certain disputes between a parent and a charter school. The special magistrate, who must be a member of the Florida Bar with a minimum of five years’ experience in administrative law, will provide a recommended decision for resolution of the dispute.” This process ultimately concludes with an approval or rejection from the State Board of Education.
A final amendment addresses potential confusion in handling threat assessments and requires that “all school personnel receive youth mental health awareness training.”
The Florida chapter of Moms for Liberty, a conservative organization dedicated to upholding parental rights, posted about the new rule earlier today.
“The bathroom/locker room ruling passed in favor of parents!” the group celebrated.
The bathroom/locker room ruling passed in favor of parents! 🎉👏👏https://t.co/XVWIU9LWeu
— Moms for Liberty – Volusia County, FL (@Moms4LibertyVol) October 21, 2022
The “groundbreaking changes” are a direct result of various actions taken by DeSantis over the past year. In March, he signed legislation that ensured parental access to materials used in their children’s classrooms, requiring school boards to hold open meetings for the public to comment on the materials.
Over the summer, the Republican governor faced backlash for collaborating with conservative Hillsdale College to create training materials for public schools intended to combat the “woke” propaganda and ideologies permeating school systems across the nation.
DeSantis also posted a message on Twitter before the start of the 2022-2023 school year, reminding educators to “educate children, not indoctrinate them.”