New Louisiana legislation would ban public school teachers and personnel from discussing sexual orientation and gender identity with students from kindergarten through the end of high school.

That’s not all. Republican Louisiana state Rep. Dodie Horton’s HB 466 would also prevent teachers from discussing their own sexual orientation or gender identity with students or using pronouns for a student that differ from the pronouns that “reflect the sex indicated on the student’s birth certificate.”

If the parents provide written permission, school employees could use pronouns for a student that differ from the pronouns on their birth certificate.

HB 466 passed out of Louisiana’s House Education Committee on a 7-5 vote on Wednesday, Horton said in a phone interview Wednesday afternoon. It now heads to the House for debate.

“It is important to be able to protect our children while they’re in the classroom and from those who wish to push their ideology on them,” she said. “Our children are our greatest commodity, and the world is fighting over them. We must be able to assure our parents that when they drop their children off at our public schools, their children are going to be taught the approved state standard class curriculum and [teachers will] not deviate [from] that and infringe on parental rights in sharing their own philosophy of life with the student.”

Most teachers respect parental rights, Horton said. They are there for the child. But with this growing trend of teachers pushing ideology on children, “we must do all we can to protect them.”

Horton believes Gov. John Bel Edwards, a Democrat, would veto the legislation if it reaches his desk. He did not immediately respond to a request for comment from The Daily Signal.

“If it does, we have a supermajority in the House and the Senate, and I pray that people will be bold enough and courageous enough to override a veto,” she said.

Critics have already labelled it “Don’t Say Gay,” Horton told The Daily Signal, comparing it to Florida’s controversial legislation. On Wednesday, Planned Parenthood of the Gulf Coast warned: “This is a Don’t Say Gay bill that would prohibit educators from discussing sexual orientation in the classroom.”

Polling conducted by outlets like The Daily Wire and Politico shows that most Americans don’t want gender identity being taught in schools.

Florida’s Parental Rights in Education (HB 1557) also bans classroom discussions of gender identity and sexual orientation for little children. Media and activists who labelled the bill “Don’t Say Gay” most notably took issue with the law’s statement that “classroom instruction by school personnel or third parties on sexual orientation or gender identity may not occur in kindergarten through grade 3 or in a manner that is not age appropriate or developmentally appropriate for students in accordance with state standards.”

Kindergarten students are typically about 5 years old. Third graders are typically 8 or 9 years old.

The legislation, which Republican Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis signed in March 2022, never even mentions the word gay. It does mention the word parent 32 times.

Asked if she conferred with Florida legislators on HB 466, Horton said that she had spoken with DeSantis himself about the bill a few months ago. At the time, she said, she questioned the Florida governor about why HB 1577 stopped at the third grade.

Florida’s Board of Education recently expanded HB 1557 to ban discussions of sexual orientation and gender identity through all grades.

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