As lawmakers push to ban gender identity discussions in the classroom, a new poll shows most Americans also want the talk ditched.
When it comes to teaching gender identity in public elementary schools, the state of Florida has made its position well-known. Florida Senate recently passed a bill that would prohibit “classroom discussion about sexual orientation or gender identity” and the bill now heads to the desk of Florida Governor Ron DeSantis who in the past has given his support of the measure. According to a new poll, many Americans are also in favor of removing these teachings as well.
The Parental Rights in Education bill moved quickly to its expected Florida conclusion as it passed the state House last month before moving on to the Senate. Party lines pretty much determined the House vote, as it did when the measure was debated in the Senate. But Republicans hold both the Florida House and Senate, so the bill to remove teaching gender identity in elementary schools appears likely to become state law.
“This is going to endanger the safety of our LGBTQ students and adolescents,” Sen. Annette Taddeo, a Democrat, said via NBC News during the lengthy Senate debate. “We will not stop until this state moves forward and actually values everyone in it, everyone no matter their sexual orientation.” The bill concerning gender identity has been dubbed the “Don’t Say Gay” bill by its opponents.
After Florida passed the gender identity bill, the Morning Consult, along with Politico, took to the streets to take the pulse of the country. A number of questions were posed in the 25-page survey, some political, some healthcare-related, some even touched on climate change. There were even questions concerning another controversial topic – critical race theory.
But a few questions in particular, though, touched on gender identity. The question first gave those taking the survey a little background as to what they’d be voting on. Here is how it read:
As you may know, the Florida legislature has passed a bill – labeled by opponents as the ’Don’t Say Gay’ bill – limiting the teaching of sexual orientation and gender identity to Florida school students. Some say that limiting these discussions will protect children from inappropriate classroom topics, while others say it will block important conversations about LGBTQ issues. To what extent do you support or oppose the following items in the bill?
Then, the survey posed the first of three statements – Banning the teaching of sexual orientation and gender identity from kindergarten through third grade. Survey takers were given five possible ways to answer – Strongly support, somewhat support, somewhat oppose, strongly oppose, and don’t know/no opinion. While the sample size was small, the results were still telling.
Banning teaching of sexual orientation and gender identity from K-3 was strongly supported at 37%. It was somewhat supported at 13%. Overall, the support for banning this teaching to our young was 51%.
In contrast to this, this ban was somewhat opposed by 11% of surveyors and it was strongly opposed by 23%. Overall, the ban on teaching gender identity to K-3 totaled 35% in opposition. Of those polled, 298 people, or 15% said they didn’t know or had no opinion on the subject.
There were two more poll statements involving this topic, both set up exactly like the first. After the explanation of Florida’s new gender identity bill, the second statement read – Limiting lessons on sexual orientation and gender identity after third grade to ’age appropriate’ discussions. The total numbers were virtually the same. Those who supported limiting lessons to 4th grade and above to “age-appropriate” discussions were 52%. Those who opposed and didn’t want to “limit” but instead hold back nothing were at 33%. A smaller number, 15%, had no opinion on the matter.
The third and final gender identity statement revolved around legal action. The poll wanted to know who was in favor of parents being able to sue schools and school districts if they are found to be in violation of teaching or discussing sexual orientation and gender identity in schools. The numbers here showed a drastic change as more people were opposed to allowing parents to sue (44%) than they felt parents had the right to sue (40%).
The survey numbers involving teaching gender identity to our youngest students seem to be what the rest of the country is feeling, including lawmakers. Numerous states have either passed their own legislation or have legislation moving forward that would prohibit these teachings from young children. If Gov. DeSantis signs Florida’s bill, as expected, it would go into effect on July 1.
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