ORLANDO, Fla. — The Florida Board of Education unanimously voted Wednesday morning on a parental notification rule regarding bathroom policies and proceedings in local school districts.
Tom Grady, the chair of the Board, said the rule does not mandate what school bathrooms look like or who can use them. Instead, he says it is about parental notification.
The new rule requires school districts and charter schools with separate bathrooms, locker rooms or dressing rooms to notify parents about students who want to use facilities that are not consistent with their biological sex. The policy must be posted on the district’s website.
The Board added that the rule protects the fundamental rights of parents to ensure they are fully informed of how bathrooms are designated and how locker rooms are supervised.
More than 40 people addressed the Board before the vote. Some felt it was an attack on the LGBTQ+ community while others stressed the safety of students in intimate settings.
“I think allowing students to change bathrooms according to gender identification poses a safety risk for all other students,” said one concerned parent.
“I’m scared. Very scared. Me and my friends see you going after LGBTQIA+ students, not because they’ve done anything wrong,” fired back a student.
The new rule also threatens teachers with termination of both their job and education certificate if they are found to have engaged in “classroom instruction on sexual orientation or gender identity.”
The Board said that the rule ensures full transparency and enhances the health, safety and welfare of students who use the bathrooms or locker rooms.