Following a complaint by a member of the State Board of Education, the Florida Education Commissioner ordered his staff to remove LGBTQ+ support documents from school districts.
Some LGBTQ+ support guides that the district provided students, teachers, and school employees raised "grave concerns" to Ryan Petty, a board member. In Pensacola, Petty objected to a sentence in the Hillsborough County district guide during the meeting. In his opinion, documents risked running afoul of the state's 'don't say gay' law.
"With the limited exception involving the imminent fear of physical harm, it is never appropriate to divulge the sexual orientation of a student to a parent," according to Hillsborough County guidelines.
A new version of the Palm Beach County School District LGBTQ+ Critical Support Guide was released on Friday regarding field trips, the Palm Beach Post reports.
In the policy previously indicating that transgender students were allowed to room with peers of their gender identity, there is now an "UNDER REVIEW".
An approval slip for a field trip must include the dates and locations of the trip, the mode of transportation, a supervision plan, and whether the rooms will be assigned by the sex assigned at birth.
Despite the guide being for the inclusion of LGBTQ+ students, Petty wondered why it didn't include more support for those with disabilities and children who had difficulty reading.
According to the Tampa Bay Times, Diaz immediately approved Petty's request for an investigation into whether districts' LGBTQ+ support guides were compliant.
"I think we hear what board member Petty is bringing up loud and clear, and we will go ahead and proceed with that request and we will pull those," Diaz said.
Brandon Wolf of Equality Florida criticized the board's move, calling it part of the governor's "cynical weaponization of state agencies" against LGBTQ+ young people.
Equality Florida is concerned about the safety of LGBTQ+ students, Wolf told The News Service of Florida.
"The Department of Education's record on these issues has demonstrated clear hostility toward those protections," Wolf said.