Insights: A Column, Issue 7


Josh Click, Photography Editor

   On April 19, the Florida Board of Education voted to expand restrictions on the education of gender identities and sexuality. This is a significant and unacceptable step back in the progress made in regards to LGBTQIA+ rights. 

   According to ABC News, this is an addition to the Parental Rights in Education Act (or “Don’t Say Gay” bill), signed by Florida Governor Ron Desantis in 2022, which prohibits any classroom instruction about gender identity or sexuality to students in pre-kindergarten through third grade. The Board of Education in Florida voted to expand these restrictions to students in fourth through twelfth grade unless required by state academic standards or health courses. This includes the reproductive health course, which parents can opt their children out of ( 

   Frankly, this is one of the biggest regressions of human rights progress in the queer history. The LGBTQIA+ community has fought with blood, sweat, and tears to get the rights and representation deserved. From the Compton Cafeteria Riot in 1966 to the Stonewall Riots in 1969, if legislation restricting education, rights, and representation continues, these protests and the progress the U.S. has made in the last few decades will appear to have been in vain. These setbacks will keep happening unless action is taken.

   Ignoring or doing nothing about these bills is no longer an option. The addition to the Parental Rights in Education law will do nothing other than promote ignorance and increase the already tragic suicide rates among LGBTQIA+ youth. According to The Trevor Project’s 2022 National Survey on LGBTQ Youth Mental Health, “45 percent of LGBTQ youth seriously considered attempting suicide in the past year.” Furthermore, “LGBTQ youth who found their school to be LGBTQ-affirming reported lower rates of attempting suicide” ( 

   So what can you do to help? It may not be easy for an individual to make serious changes when it comes to laws and political issues, but there are organizations and petitions one can donate to and sign to help. One notable organization is the aforementioned Trevor Project. Beyond monetary donations, there are plenty of rallies and protests to participate in. For more information about upcoming rallies and protests, you can visit the Humans Rights Campaign’s website or The Trevor Project’s website. Beyond this, educating others through social media and conversations about this issue are always needed.

   It is truly hurtful to witness these setbacks. It just shows how we as a people are still oppressing and hurting minorities, if not directly, then as complicit bystanders. To see something so clearly and blatantly hurtful is deeply saddening. Why can’t we just support our fellow humans? This should by no means be a political issue; it is one of pure human empathy.