FLORIDA — The American Psychological Association has publicly come out against Florida's Parental Rights in Education bill, also known as the "Don't Say Gay Bill."
The bill, which bans educators in Pre-K through 3rd-grade classrooms from teaching about sexual orientation or gender identity, could harm students, according to Dr. Frank C. Worrell, president of the American Psychological Association.
“Prohibiting classroom discussion on these topics sends the message that identifying as LGBTQ is inherently wrong, stigmatizing and marginalizing children who may realize their difference at a young age," Worrell said. "Psychological research has shown that increased social isolation and stigma can lead to depression, anxiety, self-harm and even suicide.“
Worrell also notes that many students come from homes with LGBTQ parents.
"Approximately six percent of adults identify as LGBTQ and same-sex marriage has been legal in the U.S. for more than six years," he said. "Prohibiting schools from discussing these matters sends a damaging message to impressionable young people at a critical time in their development.”
Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis still needs to sign the bill before it becomes law. He has publicly expressed support for the bill.
LGBTQ advocates have threatened to sue the state if they feel the law "endangers a single child, silences a single teacher or negatively impacts a single family."