Central Florida students, community members protest controversial ‘Don’t Say Gay’ bill

State leaders, Central Florida citizens, express opposing views on the legislation

ORLANDO, Fla. – Students at Edgewater High School took part in a walkout Friday to protest a piece of legislation critics have colloquially dubbed the “Don’t Say Gay” bill.

The students left the school to express their criticism of HB 1557, which recently passed in the Florida House and would prohibit classroom discussion about sexual orientation and gender identity for students in kindergarten to third grade.

[TRENDING: Woman dubbed ‘serial stowaway’ gets 3 years in prison for sneaking onto flights | Busch Gardens removes beams after guest injured on Iron Gwazi | Become a News 6 Insider (it’s free!)]

Opponents of the bill, like student protestors getting involved at schools across Central Florida, argue it discriminates against gay and transgender students.

“The district supports our students ability to peacefully voice their opinions and are permitted to partake in a protest as long as they follow all school safety guidelines,” Orange County Public Schools said in a statement regarding the walkout.

This comes after more than 200 people took part in a similar protest outside of Walt Disney World Thursday.

The group called for the company to make a public stance on the bill, to which the company replied it would discuss employees’ concerns about the bill during a meeting later this month.

Governor Ron DeSantis, on the other hand, showed support for the bill at a news briefing in Jacksonville Friday.

“How many parents want their kindergartners to have transgenderism or something injected into classroom instruction?” DeSantis said. “Clearly right now we see a lot of focus on the transgenderism, telling kids that they may be able to pick genders and all that. I don’t think parents want that for these young kids.”

Seminole County Public Schools said all nine of their high schools took part in walkouts on Thursday.

The Senate version of the bill is on the calendar to be discussed Monday in Tallahassee.

About the Author:

Troy graduated from California State University Northridge with a Bachelor's Degree in Communication. He has reported on Mexican drug cartel violence on the El Paso/ Juarez border, nuclear testing facilities at the Idaho National Laboratory and severe Winter weather in Michigan.