House bill

Florida House Bill 1557: What It Says and Doesn’t Say | West Orange Times & Observer

During Governor Ron DeSantis’ signing ceremony of Senate Bill 1006 (which designates strawberry shortcake as Florida’s official state dessert) on Monday, March 7, at the Florida Strawberry Festival in Plant City, a reporter who asked about House Bill 1557 – dubbed by critics’ bill as the “Don’t Say Gay” bill – drew the governor’s ire.

“Is it said in the bill?” DeSantis asked the reporter regarding the nickname. “I’m asking you to tell me what’s in the bill because you’re pushing false narratives.”

Although the entire bill totals more than 1,300 words, opponents seized on 22 of them: “Classroom teaching by school personnel or third parties about sexual orientation or gender may not take place from kindergarten to grade 3.”

DeSantis said critics and some media are not being honest about the clause, which applies to children between the ages of 5 and 7.

At The Observer, we believe it is our duty to present facts and let our audience decide how to interpret them. So in that spirit, I present to you House Bill 1557: Parental Rights in Education in its entirety.

BILL 1557
An invoice to be entitled
A law relating to parental rights in education; amending art. 1001.42, MSDS; requiring district school boards to adopt procedures consistent with certain provisions of the law for notifying a parent of a student of specific information; demand that these procedures reinforce the fundamental right of parents to make decisions about the upbringing and control of their children in a determined way; prohibiting procedures from denying a parent access to certain records; provide construction work; prohibit a school district from adopting procedures or student support forms that prohibit school district personnel from notifying a parent of specific information or that encourage or have the effect of encouraging a student not to disclose such information to a relative; prohibit school district personnel from discouraging or prohibiting parental notification and involvement in critical decisions affecting a student’s mental, emotional, or physical well-being; provide construction work; prohibit classroom discussions of sexual orientation or gender identity at certain grade levels or in a specific manner; require that certain training developed or provided by a school district meet standards established by the Department of Education; requiring school districts to inform parents about health services and giving parents the opportunity to consent or decline to such services; provide that specified parental consent does not override certain parental rights; requiring school districts to provide parents with certain questionnaires or health screening forms and to obtain parental permission before administering such questionnaires and forms; requiring school districts to adopt certain procedures to address specific parent issues; requiring resolution within a specified time; require the Education Commissioner to appoint a special magistrate for unresolved issues; provide requirements for the special magistrate; request the National Board of Education to approve or reject the recommendation of the special magistrate within a specified period; requiring school districts to bear the costs of the special magistrate; require the National Board of Education to adopt rules; provide requirements for these rules; allow a parent to sue a school district for a declaration that a school district procedure or practice violates certain provisions of the law; providing for the additional award of injunctions, damages and reasonable attorneys’ fees and court costs to certain parents; requiring the school district to adopt policies to inform parents of certain rights; provide construction work; require the ministry to review and update, as necessary, the specified documents by a certain date; indicating an effective date.

Be enacted by the Florida State Legislature:

Section 1. Subsection (c) is added to subsection (8) of Section 1001.42, Florida Statutes, to read:

1001.42 Powers and Duties of District School Board.—The 64 District School Board, acting as a board, shall exercise the 65 powers and perform all the duties listed below:

(8) STUDENT WELFARE.—

c) 1. In accordance with the rights of parents enumerated 68 in art. 1002.20 and 1014.04, adopt procedures to notify a student’s parent if there is a change in the student’s services or supervision related to the student’s mental, emotional, or physical health or well-being and the school’s ability to provide a safe and supportive learning environment for the student. Procedures should reinforce the fundamental right of parents to make decisions about the upbringing and control of their children by requiring school district personnel to encourage a student to discuss welfare issues with their parent or facilitate discussion of the problem with the parent. The procedures cannot prohibit parents from accessing their students’ educational and medical records created, maintained, or used by the school district, as required by s. 1002.22(2).

2. A school district may not adopt procedures or student support forms that prohibit school district personnel from informing a parent of the mental, emotional, or physical health or well-being of their student, or of a change in related services or supervision, or which encourage or have the effect of encouraging a student not to disclose such information to a parent. School district personnel may not discourage or prohibit parental notification and involvement in critical decisions affecting a student’s mental, emotional, or physical health or well-being. This subsection does not prohibit a school district from adopting procedures whereby school personnel may withhold such information from a parent if a reasonably prudent person would believe that disclosure would result in harm, abandonment, or negligence, as these terms are defined in art. 39.01.

3. Classroom instruction by school personnel or third parties about sexual orientation or gender identity may not take place in kindergarten through grade 3 or in a manner that is not appropriate for the age or development of the students in accordance with state standards.

4. Student support services training developed or delivered by a school district to school district staff must adhere to the student services guidelines, standards, and frameworks established by the Department of Education.

5. At the beginning of the school year, each school district must notify parents of each health service offered at their student’s school and the ability to withhold consent or decline any specific service. Parental consent to a health care service does not waive the parent’s right to access their student’s academic or medical records or to be informed of a change in the services or monitoring of their student as provided by this paragraph.

6. Prior to administering a student wellness questionnaire or health screening form to a student in grades K-3, the school district must provide the questionnaire or health screening form to the parent and get the parent’s permission.

7. Each school district shall adopt procedures for a parent to notify the principal, or designate, of concerns under this paragraph at their student’s school and the process for resolving such concerns within 7 calendar days. following notification by the parent.

a. At a minimum, the procedures must require that within 30 days of the parent’s notification that the issue remains unresolved, the school district must either resolve the issue or provide a statement of why the issue has not been resolved. .

b. If a problem is not resolved by the school district, a parent can:

(i) Request the Commissioner of Education to appoint a Special Magistrate who is a member in good standing of the Florida Bar and who has at least 5 years of experience in administrative law. The special magistrate must determine the facts of the dispute about the school district’s procedure or practice, review the information provided by the school district, and render a recommended decision for resolution to the State Board of Education within 30 days of the receipt of the request by the parent. . The State Board of Education must approve or reject the recommended decision at its next regularly scheduled meeting no more than 7 calendar days and no more than 30 days after the date the recommended decision is transmitted. The costs of the special magistrate are paid by the school district. The National Board of Education adopts the rules, including the forms, necessary for the application of this paragraph.

(II) Bring an action against the School District for a declaration that the School District’s procedure or practice violates this paragraph and seek an injunction. A court may award damages and must award reasonable attorneys’ fees and court costs to a parent who receives a declaratory relief or injunction.

vs. Each school district shall adopt policies to inform parents of the procedures required under this subclause.

D. Nothing in this paragraph shall be construed as limiting or modifying any rights of action or equitable remedies already existing at common law or general law.

Section 2. By June 30, 2023, the Ministry of Education will review and update, as necessary, the school board frameworks and standards; educator practices and principles of professional conduct; and any other Student Services personnel guidelines, standards or frameworks as required by this Act.

Section 3. This Act comes into force on July 1, 2022.


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