MIAMI (WSVN) - After the Miami-Dade County Public School Board agreed to make October LGBTQ History Month, a new law has ignited controversy for the board.
Sexual orientation has become a taboo topic in Florida classrooms, so it comes as no surprise that recognizing October as LGBTQ history month was controversial at the Miami-Dade School Board meeting on Wednesday.
“The history of my community, the LGBTQ community, goes well beyond the discussion of sex and should be welcomed and cherished in schools,” said a man at the meeting, “and yet we worry about controversy in our history lessons. Let me be clear, history is built out of controversy.”
“Why is the Miami-Dade School Board considering an agenda item, today, that would directly violate my parental rights?” said a woman. “If it gets approved, I can sue all of you because you’re violating my rights.”
Dozens of people spoke for and against the issue, even the line outside got contentious.
School board member Lucia Baez-Geller sponsored the bill.
“I know this has been used as a political wedge issue, and I hope that we don’t continue to single out different communities or different minority groups and using them as a political issue,” said Geller.
Last year, the school board passed acknowledging LGBTQ History Month, 7-to-1.
Christi Fraga was the lone vote against.
“I think endorsing and putting it out as something that everyone has to participate in does start to cross a line of imposition onto family values,” said Fraga.
This time around, the proposal has the Parental Rights in Education bill as a challenger.
The law doesn’t allow teachers to talk about gender identity with students from kindergarten to third grade.
“Kind of like we do a Hispanic heritage month, it means you talk about it, and how do you honor it? You have to celebrate it and do activities that will commemorate, and that’s why I believe it’s in direct violation of the law that passed in the legislature,” said Fraga.
Dr. Marta Perez, who lost her re-election to Governor Ron DeSantis’ pick Monica Colucci had harsh words on the topic.
“Terrible scare mongering has happened in this item that is horrible,” said Perez.
The proposal is also seeking to allow 12th grade students to learn about two landmark marriage equality Supreme Court cases: Obergefell vs. Hodges, which recognizes same sex marriage and Bostock vs. Clayton County, which prohibits employers from firing someone on the basis of sexual identity.
“This is not an item about what your beliefs are. It is simply about recognizing the struggle of our LGBTQ community and allowing them to have the dignity and respect they deserve, which is something that our district already does,” said Geller.
The school board attorney said approving LGBTQ History Month would not go against the Parental Education Rights bill because it does not mandate any instruction.
The school board has yet to make a decision, as of 6:17 p.m., Wednesday.
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