Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis’ main spokeswoman ruffled a few liberal feathers on Sunday after she suggested the Parental Rights in Education bill could fairly be called an “anti-grooming” bill.
The bill at issue would prohibit teachers in public schools from discussing issues of sexual orientation or gender identity with children in grades kindergarten through three. Under the bill’s language, local school districts could opt to block those topics for older children as well.
The bill passed the House last week, and is set for consideration by the Senate on Monday.
Critics have dubbed it the “Dony Say Gay” bill, and it has inspired protests and student walkouts around the state. It was even featured over the weekend in a segment on “Saturday Night Live,” which, not surprisingly, slammed the bill.
On Sunday, DeSantis’ spokeswoman Christina Pushaw tweeted, “The bill that liberals inaccurately call ‘Don’t Say Gay’ would be more accurately described as an Anti-Grooming Bill.”
“If you’re against the Anti-Grooming Bill, you are probably a groomer or at least you don’t denounce the grooming of 4-8-year-old children. Silence is complicity. This is how it works, Democrats, and I didn’t make the rules.”
In response, Democratic state Rep. Carlos Guillermo Smith of Orlando, who is the only openly gay man now in the Florida House, said on Twitter that Pushaw should be fired.
“DeSantis’ spokesperson openly accused opponents of #DontSayGay of being ‘groomers’- aka PEDOPHILES,” he tweeted. “Bigoted attacks like this against LGBTQ people are the worst of the worst. They’re disgusting and dangerous and have NO PLACE in the Guv’s office. ChristinaPushaw must resign.”
Democratic Rep. Michele Rayner of Clearwater, who is reportedly the only lesbian in the Legislature, also trashed Pushaw’s comments on social media.
“Chrissy, this trope is tired and lacks originality,” Rayner tweeted. “It’s clear you don’t like LGBTQ people – just say that. But no matter how you feel – we are here. We’ve been here. And we aren’t going anywhere.”
Another left-wing Democrat, Rep. Anna Eskamani of Orlando, added, “They’re saying we’re all pedophiles. It’s unhinged, unreal. And coming out of the Governor’s Office, it’s so ridiculous.”
Critics of the bill have said it could adversely affect kids who are questioning their sexuality.
But as The Free Press has noted previously, those same critics of the Parental Rights in Education bill cannot explain why it is proper or appropriate for teachers to discuss their sex lives or their sexual orientation with, as GOP Rep. Kaylee Tuck of Lake Placid put it last week, “children that are learning how to color inside the lines.”
Critics have also wildly mischaracterized the bill. Nothing in the bill prevents children in these situations from seeking counseling from a teacher or other faculty member, or any other adult for that matter, if they believe these issues affect them.
The bill’s text plainly says school districts “may not encourage classroom discussion about sexual orientation or gender identity.”
Pushaw appeared to be unfazed by the left’s outrage.
In comments to the website Florida Politics on Sunday, she explained that she thinks grooming encompasses adults “talking to kids about sex.”
“There is no reason for 3- to 8-year-olds to learn about sex in school, and anyone who wants to teach kids that young about sex — particularly over parental objections — is creating an environment where grooming can easily occur.”
“So those who want to teach 3- to 8-year-olds about sex are either groomers, don’t want to protect kids from groomers, or have not read the bill but have been misled by the DNC media’s despicable campaign of lies repeating the baseless Democratic branding ‘don’t say gay,’” Pushaw added.
And Pushaw is not alone in her take.
Anyone who has paid attention to the Twitter account Libs of Tiki Tok has routinely seen videos posted by LGBT teachers who want to persuade children about the virtue of their personal sexual agenda.
In December, Rod Dreher, a columnist with The American Conservative magazine, penned a piece called “Proud Groomer Teachers.”
As Dreher wrote, “Call it confidence, or call it arrogance, but there are some young schoolteachers who brag on TikTok about telling the little kids in their class all about transgenderism and gender theory.”
“These people aren’t hiding it. They are openly bragging about propagandizing children without parental consent. Putting their faces to it and everything for plaudits from their online tribes,” he added.
“I’m a bear when it comes to defending my children. If one of these pushy freaks forced their personal choices onto my children in a classroom setting, where they have authority, I would bring down Armageddon on their heads, and on the heads of the school officials who continue to employ their creepy groomer selves.”