LANSING, Mich. (Michigan News Source) – Michigan Attorney General Dana Nessel recently joined a coalition of 16 Attorneys General in an amicus brief that opposes Florida’s recently enacted Parental Rights in
Education Act.

The Parental Rights in Education Act, which went into effect on July 1st and was renamed the “Don’t Say Gay” bill in the media and by LGBTQ advocates, bans classroom instruction on gender identity and sexuality for children in grades K-3. In addition, it instructs that those in higher grade levels be taught lessons that are “age-appropriate
and developmentally appropriate.”

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The bill is pro-parental rights and says “At The beginning of the school year, each school district shall notify parents of each healthcare service offered at their student’s school and the option to withhold consent or decline any specific service, parental consent to a health care service does not waive the parent’s right to access his or her student’s educational or health records or to be notified about a change in his or her
student’s services or monitoring as provided by this paragraph.”

The legislation also makes schools liable for any violation by letting parents sue for damages and attorney fees.

Nessel said in her press release about the Florida’s legislation, “This bill is an affront not just to educators, but also to LGBTQ+ students, especially those who may already be experiencing the stigmatizing effect of their identity at school.”

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Nessel’s statement about joining the lawsuit admits that her move is a preemptive strike so that Michigan legislators don’t enact similar legislation. She says, “I gladly join my colleagues on this brief and hope it discourages other states, including Michigan, from considering similar legislation.”

The lawsuit she joined, along with 15 other states, is Equality Florida v Florida Board of Education and Nessel’s group argues that Florida’s law is extreme and is causing significant harm to students, parents, teachers and other states.

The other states who joined the suit in addition to Michigan are California, Colorado, Connecticut, Delaware, Hawaii, Illinois, Maine, Maryland, Massachusetts, Minnesota, Nevada, New Jersey, New York, Oregon and also the District of Columbia.

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There is another lawsuit in the works from a group of students, parents, and the organizations National Center for Lesbian Rights, Lambda Legal, the Southern Poverty Law Center and Southern Legal Counsel. They have sued four county school boards – Orange, Indian River, Duval and Palm Beach – and they argue that the bill violates the
rights of students across the state and improperly suspends educational discussion of gender theory and sexual orientation.