Florida’s Orange County Public Schools district recently released a memo addressing new state laws regarding transgender ideology. The memo, in accordance with House Bill 1069, emphasized that school policy will be based on biological sex rather than gender identity. The bill defines sex as an “immutable biological trait” and asserts that using pronouns that do not correspond to a person’s sex at birth is false.
According to the memo, employees, contractors, and students will be required to use pronouns and personal titles that align with their biological sex. It specifically stated that employees or contractors cannot ask students for their preferred pronouns and must use pronouns that correspond to their own biological sex.
Notably, the memo did not address whether a parent can request an employee to use pronouns different from their child’s biological sex. The State Board of Education left this issue unresolved.
Violating these new laws can lead to the revocation of a teacher’s certification. The memo also referenced House Bill 1521, which necessitates that school bathrooms be separated by biological sex at birth. Transgender students and employees must be provided with single-stall restrooms.
Orange County Public Schools’ approach differs from policies in other states, where rules are in place to prevent gender transitions without parental consent. The memo warned that it is illegal for an educator to solicit a child’s pronouns; instead, parents must approach the educator if they wish to use pronouns different from their child’s biological sex. Teachers, however, may use an approved nickname for a child as authorized by the parent.
The memo underscored the serious consequences that accompany the violation of these new laws, including the potential revocation of teacher certifications. As the debate surrounding transgender rights and school policies continues, it remains essential to monitor the evolving landscape of regulations surrounding this sensitive issue.
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