Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis’ message is perhaps starting to sink in.
Earlier this month, the Florida Music Education Association, or FMEA, canceled at the last minute a presentation from transgender activists who targeted preschoolers.
According to the conservative website Florida Standard, FMEA’s annual conference, held January 11–14, included a presentation labeled “Just Gender: Pathways to Inclusivity in Elementary School.”
But the session was canceled before it saw the light of day.
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The Standard noted that the course description noted that the presenters would “demonstrate the need for gender inclusion in Pre-K and elementary school settings.”
This seemed on brand, since FMEA’s website points out that the group work to celebrate “gender identity and expression, sexual orientation… of all music educators and students.”
According to the Standard, the self-proclaimed “transgender nonbinary” hosts of the canceled sessions, Ær Queen and Nicholas Prosini, were stunned by FMEA’s decision.
Queen advocated boycotts of the conference and demanded that people flood FMEA with complaints.
“I am livid that they would accept our proposal, require that we spend an exorbitant amount of money in order to register and attend, and then refuse our presence less than 48 hours before our assigned time,” Queen wrote in a Facebook post.
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“The FMEA board made a cowardly decision, and they gave into pressure – whether real or imagined – from horrible bullies.”
But while Queen wanted critics to bully the FMEA, the organization likely had no choice but to cancel.
Under Florida’s Parental Rights in Education law, enacted by DeSantis in 2022 and part of his broader effort to stop the sexual indoctrination of schoolchildren, school districts and classroom teachers are prohibited from delivering lesson plans rooted in gender identity or sexual orientation in grades K-3.
But FMEA had another problem: a history of such programs.
The Standard reported that the concept of gender fluidity has been part of the FMEA conferences since at least 2018. That year, LGBTQ activist Matthew Garrett circulated a potential policy guide that declared: “School staff shall not disclose any information that may reveal a student’s transgender status to others, including parents or guardians and other school staff.”
A year later, the FMEA allowed two PhD candidates at Florida State, Braeden Ayres and Ryan Aguirre, to guide teachers on “Transporting LGBTQ+ Students Overnight Trips, Concert Attire, & More.”
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Then last year, the Standard noted, the FMEA offered “gender-focused” sessions that included: “Honoring Gender Diversity in Music Education,” “Universal Design As A Model For Trans Inclusion In The Choral Classroom,” “Chorus Social Issues Building Inclusive Choral Communities With Trans And Gender-Expansive Singers,” and “Just Gender: Pathways to Inclusivity in Elementary School.”
FMEA Executive Director Kathleen Sanz declined to comment on why the “Just Gender” session was cut.
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