Friday, October 7, 2022

Play

Following a settlement with tribes, SD phases In voting-access reforms; older voters: formidable factor in Maine gubernatorial race; walking: a simple way to boost heart health.

Play

Biden makes a major move on marijuana laws; the U.S. and its allies begin exercises amid North Korean threats; and Generation Z says it's paying close attention to the 2022 midterms.

Play

Rural residents are more vulnerable to a winter wave of COVID-19, branding could be key for rural communities attracting newcomers, and the Lummi Nation's totem pole made it from Washington state to D.C.

'Don't Say Gay' Proves Challenging for FL Students, Teachers

Play

Friday, September 23, 2022   

Despite being aimed at children in kindergarten through third grade, Florida teachers say what's often referred to as the "Don't Say Gay" law has struck fear in teachers and students of all grades.

Billed as an effort to give parents more control over the types of instruction allowed in classrooms, the Parental Rights in Education Act prohibits classroom instruction about sexual orientation or gender identity up to the third grade. But since it went into effect in July, Erika Houvouras, a high school English teacher, said the law has done nothing but cause stress and confusion for all.

"I have had students come to me and say, 'Hey, we've been told that if we ask you to call us different pronouns, you have to tell our parents.' And you know, 'If you see us in the halls with someone of the same gender, you have to tell our parents'," she said. "And I tell them, 'That's never going to happen. You don't have to be concerned about that with me.'"

Houvouras said in group chats with teachers across the state, they're all concerned. Some tell her they're doing their best to make kids feel more comfortable, while others have gone as far as removing portions of literature they would usually cover, and limiting class discussions because they're concerned about "getting in trouble."

Houvouras said she hasn't seen a single message from district leaders on how to navigate classroom discussions - especially when kids are the ones driving the discussions and asking for explanations, including about the debate around the controversial issue.

"The more strident parts we were hearing have been dialed back a little bit in the actual verbiage of the bill, but there's still that concern there," she said. "There's an obvious effort to limit the acceptability of a community of people - which my students do not feel OK with, at all."

She said the law has sent shockwaves that extend far beyond limiting class discussions for younger kids. Most of her students are either 18 or close to it, she said, and if the topics of gender identity or sexual orientation come up in any literature and her students ask questions, she expects she will continue to answer.


get more stories like this via email
In a recent lawsuit, a federal judge found nearly 10 examples in which the State of South Dakota had made it difficult for Native Americans to register to vote. (Adobe Stock)

Social Issues

This election season, South Dakota is starting to implement voting-access reforms in light of a recent settlement with Native American tribes…


Social Issues

Between rising inflation and the ups and downs of the stock market, it isn't surprising that folks are concerned about their own financial situation…

Social Issues

The U.S. Postal Service is hiring 28,000 seasonal employees ahead of the surge in end-of-year holiday letters and packages for facilities in Michigan …


The average monthly Social Security benefit in August was $1,546. (Adobe Stock)

Social Issues

The roughly 2.4 million Ohioans who rely on Social Security income are expected to get a big boost in benefits, but advocates for the program are …

Social Issues

Democratic Gov. Janet Mills and her challenger, former Republican Gov. Paul LePage, both are courting votes from Maine's largest contingency -- …

Methane released into the atmosphere is responsible for at least 25% of current global warming, according to the Environmental Defense Fund. (permianmap.org)

Environment

Ahead of revised methane regulations expected from the federal government, a new study shows that gas flaring in oil-producing states such as Texas …

Health and Wellness

Even for Virginians who think they're too busy to exercise, experts say there's one surefire way to squeeze in a modest workout: walking. Although …

Social Issues

Groups challenging the criminal consequences for failing to pay rent in Arkansas say they'll take another run at it, perhaps as a class-action …

 

Phone: 303.448.9105 Toll Free: 888.891.9416 Fax: 208.247.1830 Your trusted member- and audience-supported news source since 1996 Copyright 2021