Students at Edgewater High School protest bill impacting LGBTQ+ students in Florida

Protest comes day after district-wide protests in Seminole County

Students walkout of Edgewater High School in protest of H.B. 1557 (Copyright 2022 by WKMG ClickOrlando - All rights reserved.)

ORLANDO, Fla. – Hundreds of students walked out of Edgewater High School in Orlando to protest a proposed piece of legislation that could have an impact on LGBTQ+ students across the state.

The students left the school and gathered on an athletic field, many carrying signs and waving rainbow flags to protest H.B. 1557, which would limit discussions of sexual orientation and gender identity in schools.

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Friday’s protest in Orlando comes a day after middle and high school students across Seminole County walked out in protest of the bill.

Orange County Public Schools released a statement about the protest.

“Students at Edgewater High School are participating in a protest over proposed legislation in Florida. The district supports our students’ ability to peacefully voice their opinions and (they) are permitted to partake in a protest as long as they follow all school safety guidelines.”

OCPS

The controversial bill, which has been decried by LGBTQ+ advocates, was approved by the Florida House last week and is set to move to the GOP-controlled Senate.

According to the bill, written by Republican Rep. Joe Harding, “Classroom instruction by school personnel or third parties on sexual orientation or gender identity may not occur in kindergarten through grade 3 or in a manner that is not age appropriate or developmentally appropriate for students in accordance with state standards.”

The proposal has drawn national attention and condemnation from officials as far up as The White House.


About the Author:

Thomas Mates is a digital storyteller for News 6 and ClickOrlando.com. He also produces the podcast Florida Foodie. Thomas is originally from Northeastern Pennsylvania and worked in Portland, Oregon before moving to Central Florida in August 2018. He graduated from Temple University with a degree in Journalism in 2010.