The US state of Florida is planning to expand its ban on teaching sexuality and gender topics which currently applies to public school students from kindergarten to Grade-3.
The State Department of Education wants to extend the prohibition to cover all classes up to Grade-12.
There would be an exemption for material and subjects that are part of the school curriculum that parents can opt their children out of.
“For Grades 4 through 12, instruction on sexual orientation or gender identity is prohibited unless such instruction is either expressly required by state academic standards .. or is part of a reproductive health course or health lesson for which a student’s parent has the option to have his or her student not attend,” reads the proposed expanded rule.
Teachers who violate the law face suspension or losing their licences.
The Department of Education won’t require any legislative approval to introduce the rule with its decision expected next month.
Florida’s Parental Rights in Education Act was passed last year.
It seeks to give parents more control over their children’s education and limit the influence of schools and teachers in certain areas.
State Governor Ron DeSantis and other Republicans say it shields children from inappropriate content that does not belong in schools.
They argue that parents, not teachers, should be discussing sex education with their children.
Florida’s Commissioner of Education Manny Diaz Jr. tweeted that students “should be spending their time in school learning core academic subjects, not being force-fed radical gender and sexual ideology.”
Alabama and Arkansas have enacted similar laws since last year.
At least 30 other similar proposals have been filed in 16 states.