White House: Florida's 'Don't Say Gay' Law Already Striking Fear in Schools

by Emell Adolphus

EDGE Media Network Contributor

Friday July 1, 2022

White House press secretary Karine Jean-Pierre
White House press secretary Karine Jean-Pierre  (Source:Associated Press)

Florida's "Don't Say Gay" law has officially gone into effect and the law is reportedly already wreaking havoc on schools in the Sunshine State.

As reported by People, White House press secretary Karine Jean-Pierre wrote in a detailed statement about a "more fearful, less free" environment as communities prepare to follow the law's hazy guidelines.

"Today, some of Florida's most vulnerable students and families are more fearful and less free," Jean-Pierre wrote in a statement Friday. "As the state's shameful 'Don't Say Gay' law takes effect, state officials who claim to champion liberty are limiting the freedom of their fellow Americans simply to be themselves."

There have already been reports of "safe space" stickers being removed, teachers instructed not to wear rainbow clothing and "LGBTQI+ teachers are being told to take down family photos of their husbands and wives," wrote Jean-Pierre, who is openly gay and became the White House's first openly gay press secretary.

Among celebrities and LGBTQ teachers alike, Florida's "Don't Say Gay" sparked outrage that reverberated even to Disney's Magic Kingdom—with employees and celebrities saying the Florida-based company did not do enough to stop the law from passing.

The law was framed as an issue of parental rights, however, Jean-Pierre put it plainly that the law will be used for "discrimination, plain and simple."

"It's part of a disturbing and dangerous nationwide trend of right-wing politicians cynically targeting LGBTQI+ students, educators, and individuals to score political points," she wrote. "It encourages bullying and threatens students' mental health, physical safety, and well-being. It censors dedicated teachers and educators who want to do the right thing and support their students. And it must stop."

The White House isn't simply standing by though said Jean-Pierre. The Department of Education is monitoring, and any student or parent who believes they have experienced discrimination are encouraged to file a complaint with the Department's Office for Civil Rights.

"Our Administration will continue to fight for dignity and opportunity for every student and family—in Florida and around the country," said Jean-Pierre.