The Florida Phoenix has reached out to Governor Ron DeSantis’ press secretary Christina Pushaw over calls from Florida lawmakers for her firing or resignation over tweets she posted over the weekend about controversial legislation restricting the classroom teaching about sexual orientation and gender identity.
She provided her response in an email to the Phoenix on Monday afternoon: Pushaw said:
“It is inappropriate for adults to instruct children in VPK-3rd grade (3-9 years old) about sexuality. There is no good reason a teacher needs to talk to a 7 year old about sex, any questions a child has at this age should be answered by their parent or guardian. Talking about adult matters with young children is a tactic of groomers, and as I said, not everyone who opposes the bill is groomers – but they apparently don’t see a problem with adults who teach very young children about sexual matters. And unfortunately, this creates an environment where grooming can take place.
“The governor never referred to the bill as an anti-grooming bill or used that term. It was my personal account and I tweeted outside of working hours. The Governor, in his statements about this legislation, emphasized the importance of parental rights and ensuring that all instruction in our schools is developmentally appropriate. For children ages 3 to 9, classroom instruction on sexual topics is not developmentally appropriate, and it’s hard to understand why anyone would disagree.
“I don’t regret raising concerns about child protection. The only people who have targeted the LGBT community are opponents of the bill, who groundlessly accused us of homophobia – while the bill itself does not name the LGBT community or even mention the word” gay”. Any type of sexual content, whether straight, LGBT or otherwise, is inappropriate for children ages 3-9 – and I can’t believe this is controversial for rational adults.
Following these comments, the Phoenix provided information on the bill in question, HB 1557 says: “Classroom instruction by school personnel or third parties about sexual orientation or gender identity may not take place in K-3 or in a manner that is not age appropriate. or developmentally appropriate. »
Opponents of the bill have called it a “don’t say gay” bill.
HB 1557 has drawn nationwide attention and protests across the state, and is considered one of the major “culture war” bills to be considered in Florida’s 2022 legislative session. Crowds continued to be in the Capitol building on Monday, pending discussion of HB 1557 in the Senate.
Le Phénix covered this exchange and the invoice in question. You can read our two previous stories published on Monday here and here.