Last week, Florida Governor Ron DeSantis signed the Parental Rights in Education Act, which prohibits sexuality education in younger grades and restricts how it is taught in older grades.
The law, which has been mischaracterized as the “Don’t Say Gay” law by opponents, has raised concerns that LGBT teachers would not be allowed to be forthright about their personal lives and identity and NBC News reported last week is causing some to reconsider their profession.
“Nobody would be able to know, which then puts me in the closet, and I’m there seven hours a day, if not more, five days a week. I wouldn’t be able to be who I am,” said elementary school teacher Nicolette Solomon, who plans to quit now that the legislation has been signed.
“And I don’t think I can bear to see the students struggle and want to ask me about these things and then have to deny them that knowledge,” she said. “That’s not who I am as a teacher.”
“I would teach in another state, but I cannot teach in Florida,” she explained. “It’s just so horrible.”
Sixth-grade teacher Robert Thollander also plans to leave after several parents complained that he had discussed his gay marriage with his students.
A lot of trust is given to teachers, and it made it seem like I wasn’t trusted because there’s something wrong with me for being gay,” he said of the incident.
“It makes it seem like being gay is something vile or disturbing or disgusting when it’s described as making children uncomfortable knowing that I’m married to a man. It hurt.”
Thollander now plans to go into real estate; Solomon plans to launch a LGBT family-oriented podcast called “Fly the Coop.”
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