MIAMI (LifeSiteNews) — The Miami-Dade County school board has rejected a proposal to designate October as “LGBTQ+ History Month” in schools.
After a “pretty heated” public comment session, according to one attendee known to LifeSiteNews, the Miami-Dade school board voted 5-3 against the proposal on Thursday. Board member opponents argued that the measure would violate Florida’s Parental Rights in Education law, which bans class instruction about “sexual orientation or gender identity in K-3 classrooms.”
“As constitutional officers, we have to uphold state law, and it’s very clear what that law is,” board member Monica Colucci said during the school board committee meeting, according to WPLG Local 10.
Miami-Dade parent Madelyn Ocasio told LifeSiteNews that during the comment session, some protesters noted that the vague, open-ended nature of the proposal meant it would render October “open season” for LGBT advocates in Miami-Dade schools, meaning virtually anything could be said or done regarding “LGBTQ” matters during that period without parental knowledge or oversight.
According to Ocasio, many local speakers fiercely decried the proposal as “sexualizing” children and as “child abuse.”
“I will press charges against anyone who talks about sexuality to my children,” declared one mother, as seen in footage shared by Local 10.
“They’re exposing the children to sex when we should protect the innocence of children. Because they’re not aware of sex at the elementary age. Why are you going to expose a child to something they’re not even aware of, and expose their minds to all this evil?” Ocasio told LifeSiteNews.
She pointed out that bombarding children with pro-LGBT messages during their formative years can easily mislead impressionable students.
“You’re confusing children that are already struggling with their identity,” Ocasio said. “A child at that age, their mind isn’t developed to know what is right or wrong about [sexuality].”
She said that one father who was “completely” against the proposal shared during the meeting that as an adolescent he had been essentially “coached” into a homosexual lifestyle, but he was grateful that he was later able to walk away from that behavior and go on to marry and have children. He shared his concern that children today are similarly being steered toward homosexuality through school celebrations of “LGBTQ” lifestyles.
Opponents of the measure also argued that any sex-related education should be left to parents.
Ocasio observed that “many elderly women” spoke out in favor of a school-wide “LGBTQ” month while “a lot of fathers and grandfathers” spoke out against it.
“They said that they were defending their children and grandchildren against the indoctrination of the LGBT community taking hold in schools,” Ocasio related.
School board member Lucia Baez-Geller, who introduced the initiative, took issue with this terminology, arguing that it “does not indoctrinate our students into any sort of lifestyle.”
She explained to Local 10 that she tried to ensure the measure had “legal protections,” including the condition that “no instructional materials” were used during the LGBT commemoration.
According to Ocasio, local commentators who supported the proposal often argued it was important in helping to build up support for “LGBTQ” students who they said are being bullied because of their sexual preference, and are therefore at greater risk of suicide, according to Ocasio.
One proponent of the measure said he found “the amount of religious doctrine” “being espoused” during the comment session “disturbing.”
Proposal opponents like America Needs Fatima activist Sergio de Paz were not shy about opposing the measure as contrary to their Christian faith.
“Viva Christo Rey!” Pax exclaimed during the meeting, holding up a rosary.
The school board attorney has noted that in contrast to Miami-Dade County, similar LGBT school-wide commemorations have passed in Broward and Orange counties, despite the Parental Rights in Education law.
Four of the board members who voted against the LGBT month proposal were appointed by Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis, WPLG reported. Board chair Mari Tere Rojas also voted no.
It is the second consecutive year the Miami-Dade school board has voted against commemorating “LGBTQ+ History Month” in schools.