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Tipsheet

Kindergarten Teacher Worried FL Parental Rights Law Prevents Him from Talking About His Partner

MSNBC/Screenshot

Florida kindergarten Cory Bernart told MSNBC on Tuesday he is worried about the new law Governor Ron DeSantis (R) signed this week which prohibits teachers from teaching about sexual orientation and gender identity to students below third grade.

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Referring to students as "my children," Bernart explained talking about his love life is a way for him to build community and relationships with the kids in his classroom. 

"It scares me that I am not going to be able to have these conversations with my children...I don’t want to have to hide that my partner and I went paddleboarding this weekend," he said.

"Because then ask, 'What does partner mean, Mr. Bernart?' I'm worried, can I tell them what they mean?" Bernart continued. "I have a little girl that has two moms and the kids are curious about her two moms. They want to know about her two moms. If they go to her and ask her about her two moms and she doesn't know what to say, they’re going to come to me and ask me. It opens up for parents to really take legal action against the school and teachers and I am afraid for my colleagues, myself, and my students."

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Bernart said it is going to be difficult to "navigate" within the new law, but "I’m going to follow my kids’ discretion and what they want to discuss. And if they ask me, I will be true and honest with them because that’s who I am."

Prior to signing the bill, DeSantis took aim at the many critics by stating, "If the same Hollywood elites who upheld degenerates like Harvey Weinstein now oppose our efforts to protect parental rights, I wear that like a badge of honor."

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