Michigan Attorney General Dana Nessel has joined a coalition of 16 attorneys general from across the country in filing an florida-state-board-of-education-multistate-amicus-brief/download” data-ylk=”slk:amicus brief” class=”link “amicus brief opposing Florida’s “Parental Rights in Education Act,” otherwise known as the “Don’t Say Gay” law.
Nessel, a Democrat who is Michigan’s first openly gay top statewide official, says that the law, which prevents classroom discussion of sexual orientation or gender identity, poses a serious threat to LGBTQ+ students who she says are particularly vulnerable to discrimination.
“This bill is an affront not just to educators, but also to LGBTQ+ students, especially those who may already be experiencing the stigmatizing effect of their identity at school,” Nessel said. “This bill is not motivated by the desire to limit inappropriate content in classrooms. It is meant to have a chilling effect on how educators do their jobs and may also violate the First Amendment rights of students and teachers alike. I gladly join my colleagues on this brief and hope it discourages other states, including Michigan, from considering similar legislation.”
The law is being challenged in the federal district court by a group of students, parents, teachers and organizations seeking to prevent its enforcement by alleging that it violates, among other things, the Equal Protection Clause and the First Amendment.
The law entirely bans “classroom instruction” on sexual orientation or gender identity in kindergarten through Grade 3 while also requiring the state education agency write new classroom instructions for standards that must be followed by grades four through 12.
Opponents say that because the law does not define many of its key terms, like “classroom instruction,” it is forcing Florida teachers to censor themselves out