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Tipsheet

School Board Votes Against Observing LGBTQ History Month

AP Photo/Vadim Ghirda

This week, the Miami-Dade School Board in Florida voted against a proposal that would have observed October 2022 as LGBTQ History Month.

The school board, which oversees a district of over 330,000, held a public meeting over the proposal. Ultimately, the board voted 8-1 against it, as it likely conflicted with Florida’s Parental Rights in Education Bill. 

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The proposal was pushed by board member Lucia Baez-Geller, who wrote that “LGBTQ individuals have made and continue to make lasting contributions to strengthen the fabric of American society.”

On Wednesday, Baez-Geller claimed that the “symbolic gesture” was derailed by “ugly falsities” and “plain disinformation,” Politico noted.

“This item does not indoctrinate students, it does not force an agenda on students,” Baez-Geller said during the public meeting. “And, as was stated incorrectly, this item does not take away parental choice.” Reportedly, members of the audience groaned as Baez-Geller issued these remarks.

Florida’s Parental Rights in Education Law, H.B. 1557, took effect on July 1. It requires parental involvement "in critical decisions affecting student's mental, emotional, or physical well-being" at school and "requires school districts to notify parents of healthcare services" among other things, involving their children.

In addition, the law states that “classroom instruction by school personnel or third parties on sexual orientation or gender identity may not occur in kindergarten through grade 3 or in a manner that is not age appropriate or developmentally appropriate for students in accordance with state standards.”

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Board member Christi Fraga, who voted against the school board measure, said, “I do believe this is in direct violation of our parental rights bill.” 

“If not so directly, in spirit, it is,” she said, adding that “this is saying a full endorsement in the entire district of this month – that includes kindergarten through 12th grade.”

Perla Tabares Hantman, the school board chair, said, "we have to be in accordance with the law.”

“Our customers are our parents,” board member Lubby Navarro, who voted against the proposal, said. “We have to be driven to give parents what they are asking us, this school system, for their children.”

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