Senator Marco Rubio and 10 House Republicans demand to know how the Biden administration will “monitor” Florida’s parental rights’ law, and if it believes K-3 students should be subjected to classroom discussions about sexuality and gender identity.
Earlier this week, after Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis signed the Parental Rights in Education bill, U.S. Secretary of Education Miguel Cardona said in a statement, “We will be monitoring this law upon implementation to evaluate whether it violates federal civil rights law. As always, any student who believes they are experiencing discrimination, including harassment, at school or any parent who is concerned that about their child experiencing discrimination can file a complaint with our Office for Civil Rights.”
Cardona also accused DeSantis of targeting “some of Florida’s most vulnerable students and families, all while under the guise of ‘parents’ rights.”
Federalism and the authority of parents, obviously, are not things the Biden administration concerns itself with.
Florida’s new law prohibits school districts and classroom teachers from implementing lesson plans that indoctrinate K-3 students in discussions of sexual orientation and gender identity.
With that in mind, U.S. Sen. Marco Rubio and 10 other Sunshine State Republicans are concerned about snooping from Washington.
On Thursday, they wrote Cardona a letter wanting to know more about this “monitoring.”
“We are concerned with how you plan to ‘monitor’ the implementation of this law and how it will impact the rights and privacy of concerned and law-abiding parents,” the letter said.
“It is a fundamental right of parents to care, raise, and educate their children,” the lawmakers continued. “Consistent with that, the provisions under the Parental Rights in Education law ensure Florida schools adopt policies that prioritize the families they serve and not woke ideologies.”
They asserted the law will make parents “better informed about the wellbeing of their child through its requirement that schools adopt procedures for notifying parents about changes in their child’s mental, emotional, and physical health.”
It also empowers parents and supports “informed child-rearing decisions.”
Noting the key, and most controversial, provision in the new law, the lawmakers added, “These sex-based issues are not suitable for classroom instruction with children as young as five. There is a time and place for these sensitive discussions. Indoctrinating a classroom full of kindergarteners on gender identity is not it.”
Moreover, they argued, “It should go without saying that we do not send our kids to school so that the schools can raise them, that is properly the job of parents. … We send our children to school to learn how to read, write, and think critically, not how to think about their sexual orientation or gender identity.”
“Parents must bear primary responsibility and final authority over the values and intimate topics that their children might want to discuss or learn about, not the State. This is what the Parental Rights in Education bill confirms into law.”
As for Cardona’s comment about the “guise” of parents’ rights, that is precisely the hubris and entanglement of D.C. politicians that the people of Florida reject,” they noted.
“Parents have an obligation to care for the wellbeing of their children and a right to determine how and when they are exposed to different subject matters. Parents and students deserve to know the truth about the Department’s intention to ‘monitor’ their parental decisions.”
Accordingly, they demanded that Cardona answer a series of questions, including:
- Should pre-K-3 students be “required to engage in classroom discussions about sexuality and gender identity?”
- Does Cardona believe it is acceptable for pre-K-3 teachers “to incorporate topics about sexuality and gender identity into their class curriculums?”
- How does the Education Department view the role of a parent when it comes to their child’s education and well-being?
- Explain what action the department would take in implementing the order to “monitor” Florida’s law.
- Will the department seek to “monitor, or ask any other government entity to monitor, parents who exercise their rights under this bill?”
- Finally, how does the department intend to protect the right of parents to care, raise, and educate their child?
In addition to Rubio, those who endorsed the letter included Reps. Daniel Webster of Clermont, Byron Donalds of Naples, Gus Bilirakis of Palm Harbor, Bill Posey of Rockledge, Carlos Gimenez of Miami, Greg Steube of Sarasota, John Rutherford of Jacksonville, Scott Franklin of Lakeland, Brian Mast of Palm City, and Michael Waltz of St. Augustine.