Florida Board of Education approves enforcement rules for Parental Rights law

Approved rule requires schools to notify parents if students are allowed to use opposite-sex bathrooms

The School Board of Education approved nearly a dozen new rules and amendments during its meeting Wednesday morning.

Wednesday’s meeting went on for hours, with some in support of the rules and amendments, and others voicing their concerns.

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One of the rules that was most discussed says parents have to be notified when it comes to students using a bathroom or locker room opposite of their sex.

This means that if a male student is allowed to use a female bathroom, or vice-versa, schools will be required to let parents know.

So what does that rule look like for schools?

News 6 spoke with our Education Expert, Jordan Rodriguez. He is a former middle and high school principal in Seminole County.

“You’re kind of shining light on something that has been working successfully and without that much notice. Again, I was on the largest school campus in Central Florida for several years, and this isn’t an issue I ever had to deal with in a negative way, because we handled it I think the right way,” Rodriguez said.

Clinton McCracken, president of the Orange County teacher’s union, was at Wednesday’s meeting to witness the back-and-forth.

“This is a creating a problem where a problem didn’t exist, and the only result of this is to basically intimidate transgender students from being able to use gender affirming restrooms at schools,” he said.

Following the approval of the new rules and amendments, Florida’s Education Commissioner, Manny Diaz, Jr. said, “I applaud the State Board of Education for upholding parental rights and continuing to promote the health, safety and welfare of the students in our schools.”

Jessica Tillman, chairwoman of the Seminole County chapter of the Moms For Liberty nonprofit, also supported the rule.

“Not just girls, not just boys, all students need to feel safe in the bathrooms and in their locker rooms. We need to let parents know how they are being monitored,” Tillman said.

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About the Author:

Lauren Cervantes was born and raised in the Midwest but calls Florida her second home. She joined News 6 in August 2019 as a reporter.