Florida Politics 

Rick Scott bill requires parental consent for school changes of ‘gender markers’

'Stop pushing these woke ideologies on our kids and let them focus on reading, writing and arithmetic.'

By A.G. Gancarski

A bill reintroduced by one Florida Senator and co-sponsored by another would impose gender identity guardrails on schools.

The Parental Rights Over the Education and Care of Their (PROTECT) Kids Act, which has been reintroduced by U.S. Sen. Rick Scott and co-sponsored by Marco Rubio, purports to “protect parental rights and prevent school administrators from concealing information about students’ gender from their parents.”

“I have long believed that parents, not the government, know what is best for their children. It is time for schools to stop pushing these woke ideologies on our kids and let them focus on reading, writing and arithmetic. I am proud to stand with my colleagues in supporting the PROTECT Kids Act to stop the indoctrination and ensure parents have a say in what happens at their kids’ school,” Scott asserted in a release accompanying the legislation.

The bill, per Scott’s Office, “would restrict federal funding for any elementary or middle school that allows students to change their pronouns, gender markers, or sex-based accommodations, including locker rooms and bathrooms, without the consent of their parents.”

While Florida under Gov. Ron DeSantis has already taken action to restrict bathroom usage and interscholastic athletic competitions on the grounds of gender assignment at birth, the bill cites issues in Iowa and Virginia as needing federal redress. The legislation asserts that parental rights are protected by the 14th Amendment to the United States Constitution.

“Parents have a fundamental, constitutionally guaranteed right to raise and educate their children in the way that they choose. Public schools across the country are violating these fundamental parental and familial rights by deliberately hiding information about gender transitioning children from their parents,” asserts the legislation.

Offending “schools are sabotaging the parent-child relationship and encouraging children to keep secrets from the adults who are charged with protecting and defending them — their parents,” the text continues.

Unsurprisingly, all co-sponsors are Republican, which doesn’t bode well for its progress upon reintroduction in the Democratic-majority Senate.

U.S. Sen. Tim Scott of South Carolina co-introduced the measure with Scott. Sens. Mike Crapo of Idaho, Lindsey Graham of South Carolina and Cindy Hyde-Smith of Mississippi are among the co-sponsors.