The Department of Education removed LGBTQ resources from the website; Nikki Fried fills the information gap

Following the removal of anti-bullying resources from the Florida Department of Education website, including information regarding LGBTQ students, the Florida Agriculture Commissioner Nikki fried rather provides that information.

In a press release on Tuesday, Fried announced a collection of LGBTQ resources hosted on the Florida Department of Agriculture and Consumer Services website.

“Improving the health, safety and prosperity of all Floridians, including the hundreds of thousands of LGBTQ Floridians, is my top priority as a member of Cabinet,” Fried said in a written statement.

“It’s so important that LGBTQ Floridians know they matter, that there are resources to help them and that we will continue to stand up for them,” Fried continued. “That’s why I think it’s imperative that we make these resources available. “

Advocates complain that the cut of resources for LGBTQ students is the latest attack on LGBTQ Floridians by the Ron DeSantis administration. Earlier this month, the department cleaned up dozens of informational links from its webpage on “Bullying prevention. “

Some of the links provided educators, parents and students with general anti-bullying information, such as how to identify victims and how schools can develop anti-bullying policies.

The state’s education website also provided resources for target groups, including students with disabilities, LGBTQ students, and discrimination based on race or ethnicity.

the deleted resources can be viewed on the Wayback Machine website, an internet archive that records previous versions of websites even if changes are made.

Commissioner Fried’s anti-harassment resources include general bullying information and LGBTQ-focused information. There are materials for students with disabilities and special health needs, but not explicitly for racial discrimination.

Equality Florida, a statewide LGBTQ rights group, applauded Fried for providing these resources.

“As the DeSantis administration puts an exclamation mark on their fanaticism by cutting LGBTQ-specific resources, we cannot lose sight of the lives of who is at stake: LGBTQ youth. And do everything we can to protect them ”, Equality Florida tweeted tuesday.

The advocacy group called the removal of LGBTQ resources from the state’s education department site a “staggering escalation” of the DeSantis administration’s “anti-LGBTQ agenda.”

“Attacks on LGBTQ students in Tallahassee fuel a toxic and dangerous environment on the ground,” Nadine smith, executive director of Equality Florida, said in a written statement Dec. 6, when news broke that LGBTQ resources had been cut by the FL DOE.

Smith continued, “We protect the lives of our young people by equipping administrators, educators and parents with the tools to affirm and create safe learning environments for them. These resources are an essential part of building truly safe schools.

During the 2021 legislative session, Republican lawmakers were successful in pushing through legislation that transgender girls banned in high school to participate in women’s and women’s sports teams.

Instead, these students are required to play on teams that match their gender assigned at birth – meaning transgender women and girls would play on the boys’ team – regardless of any bullying or any discomfort for the student. Boys and transgender men can play in boys ‘or girls’ teams.

Republican lawmakers have provided parents with a tool to direct their student’s education and the Florida education system. It’s known as the “Parents Bill of Rights,” signed by DeSantis earlier this year, and had been on the radar of LGBTQ activists during the 2022 legislative session, the Phoenix previously reported.

Among other things, the Parents Bill of Rights includes:

– The right to “direct the education” of their minor child and “direct the education and moral or religious formation”.

– The right to inspect educational material, including with regard to sex education, to decide whether the material is appropriate for their child.

– The right to object to teaching materials “on the basis of beliefs concerning morality, sex and religion or the belief that these materials are harmful”.

– The right to access and consult all school records relating to his minor child.

Advocates fear that the Parents Bill of Rights could lead LGBTQ students to be “exposed,” meaning their gender or sexuality would be exposed in a non-consensual manner. This could harm students whose parents are not supportive.

Meanwhile, the issues surrounding LGBTQ Floridians may be a factor Floridians consider when deciding who should be Florida’s next governor.

Fried is campaigning to be the Democratic nominee in the 2022 gubernatorial election. DeSantis is running for re-election as the Republican nominee.

In the past, Fried has come behind DeSantis when she thinks he dropped the ball, especially in its response to COVID-19.

The Florida Department of Education has been a tool for DeSantis to achieve some of its political goals that score points with its conservative base, like the ban Critical Race Theory in Florida Classrooms and punish school boards to implement mask mandates in schools instead of letting parents decide for their children.


Danielle Brun report via Florida Phoenix.

Florida Phoenix is part of States Newsroom, a network of grant-supported news bureaus and a coalition of donors as a 501c (3) public charity. Florida Phoenix maintains editorial independence. Contact the editor Diane rado for questions: [email protected] Follow Florida Phoenix on Facebook and Twitter.

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