Alachua County students protest so-called “Don’t Say Gay” bill

Published: Mar. 3, 2022 at 6:46 PM EST
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GAINESVILLE, Fla. (WCJB) - Students in North Central Florida and across the state took part in school walk outs today, protesting the so-called “Don’t Say Gay” bill.

“We can’t talk about sexual identity or sexual orientation, and that’s not okay,” said Jasmine Miranda, Buchholz High sophomore and member of the Gay Straight Alliance club.

At noon, hundreds of students at Buchholz High sounded the alarm on Florida’s “Parental Rights in Education” bill, something opponents are calling homophobic.

Miranda was just one of many students eager to initiate change with today’s walk out.

“This bill could be dangerous for so many kids and even though it mostly affects the younger grades, it will affect us too,” said protester, Camilla Lowry.

Students at Gainesville High School also had a walk out protesting this legislation.

State Senator Keith Perry said he feels Buchholz staff made a huge mistake in how they handled this situation.

“If they really wanted to make a learning environment, they would take the bill and they would have good discussion in a high school setting on what the bill does and what it doesn’t do and have some debate,” he said.

Perry said he believes this bill is widely misunderstood.

“It doesn’t mean that if a kid comes to a teacher and has an issue or question that they can’t have a discussion, what it means is you’re not gonna have school sponsored instructional material dealing with these issues,” said Perry.

Miranda said she hopes today’s walkout makes a statement that will be heard in Tallahassee.

“Gay rights are human rights, we are equal just the same as you.”

This bill passed in the House and is now being debated in the Senate.

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