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The student news site of Coral Gables Senior High School

CavsConnect

The student news site of Coral Gables Senior High School

CavsConnect

Gov. DeSantis Sparks Classroom Controversy with Bill HB 1069

Fla+Gov.+Ron+DeSantis+has+passed+the+Dont+Say+Period+bill%2C+which+holds+the+potential+to+affect+LGBTQ%2B+students%2C+which+has+resulted+in+many+protests+and+uprisings.
Joseph Abrahantes
Fla Gov. Ron DeSantis has passed the “Don’t Say Period” bill, which holds the potential to affect LGBTQ+ students, which has resulted in many protests and uprisings.

Since the beginning of the year, Florida legislation regarding laws on gender identity, sexual orientation and concealed weapons has been changed by Gov. Ron DeSantis. One new bill in specific has been dubbed the “Don’t Say Period” bill by critics. Officially named House Bill 1069, this bill has limited the K-12 instruction of sexual health and orientation. It was proposed on Feb. 22, 2023 and in an attempt to “protect the innocence of Florida’s children”, DeSantis approved it on May 17.

House Bill 1069 was drafted with the purpose of focusing attention away from learning about sexual orientation and any instruction on sexual health. The bill prohibits teachers from calling students by their nickname unless a parent has signed the Parental Authorization for Deviation from Student’s Legal Name form. In addition, it does not require teachers to address a student by anything other than their biological pronouns.

“I can’t understand why they would do this. My first concern is always going to be the health and wellness of the student. Hopefully there’s not an issue but I’ll definitely take the student’s well-being in mind first […] I usually try not to use pronouns. I prefer calling people by their name, because I think its more individual that way,” Mr. Nelson said.

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The bill states that any kind of material used to instruct reproductive education must to reviewedand approved by the Department of Education. It forbids teaching on topics including sexually transmitted diseases, menstruation and human sexuality. Additionally, it prohibits instruction on gender identity and sexual orientation from K-8. Consequently, any instruction on sexual orientation must teach students that their sex is defined biologically at birth and their reproductive roles cannot change.

“I think it will be controversial between students because they all have different opinions about all of this and it really depends on how they feel,” junior Ruben Sanchez said.

Additionally, this bill expands the ability for parents to make challenges against any school books they deem inappropriate. Any material containing any type of sexual content can be banned from any kind of reading list that the school offers if a parent makes a complaint about its content.

“You shouldn’t be letting a first grader or a third grader read anything inappropriate but taking away the liberty of what people want to read can definitely affect their personality because reading books is a good way to expand knowledge and understand different aspects of life,” sophomore Lucia Astorga said.

Supporters stand by the bill in their belief that it will protect the children and keep them innocent. DeSantis himself believes Florida must keep its sanity and attempt to preserve its normalcy. The governor intends to bring consistency in the sex education taught across every district in Florida while also giving parents more opportunities to control what their children read at school.

When DeSantis signed this bill, it sparked many protests among supporters of the Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, Transgender and Queer community regarding its laws addressing children. Critics say this bill does not protect the students and goes against LGBTQ+ students and specifically young girls. The average age a menstruation cycle starts is 12.4, which indicated that girls typically gets their period before they reach grade 8. Critics disagree with censoring the talk of sexual health until high school since they consider that the girls should learn about these topics before they go through it themselves.

“I don’t think teaching about sexual health in the way the bill says will help the students. Kids are going to disagree because they are naturally opinionated. I think people and their ideas are constantly changing and that Florida should adapt to them” sophomore Adrian Perez said.

Students throughout Florida have expressed their opinions on this bill, with student protests going on against this bill and many others DeSantis has passed. Students in Tampa and Tallahassee have expressed their disagreement by gathering for protests to protect their own community in concern for what the future will look like.

This bill has sparked many different perspectives and ideas, both inside and outside classrooms. Already in effect since the summer, the bill will have the potential to change classrooms for years to come. Whether it will worsen or better the relationship between students and teachers or affect students’ opinions about the Florida government, only the future can tell. 

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About the Contributors
Yara Korse, CavsConnect Staff Writer
Yara Korse is trying her best to cruise through her second year of high school in the International Baccalaureate program. Even with all the activities she does in school, she still finds a way to keep up her 4.0 Grade Point Average. She is part of the cross country, track and field and tennis team. She is part of a few clubs in school including the International Baccalaureate Honor Society and Gables Wellness. Her solution to getting through high school is to listen to music whenever she can. She also loves to read fiction books; her favorite book series is "Percy Jackson". She wants to leave Florida when she gets out of high school and live in the Netherlands at one point in her life. When she is not drowning in the large amount of work that her amazing school gives to her, she is doing puzzles or annoying her little brother.
Joseph Abrahantes, CavsConnect Business Manager
Joseph Abrahantes, a sophomore in the International Baccalaureate program and second year member of CavsConnect, is excited to come back as the publication's Business Manager. Hoping to work in STEM in the future, Joseph plans to get more involved with the Science National Honor Society as well as Gables' Science, Engineering, Communication, Mathematics and Enrichment club to further his experience. Additionally, his love for biology has driven him to become a tutor with Gables’ Interact club. Joseph fuels his academic spirit with his 10 hour long playlist, ranging from Kendrick and Baby Keem to Doja Cat and SZA, whose songs he knows by heart.
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