Don’t Say Gay or Trans Bill

By Adam Sarsfield

The recent HB 2546, also known as the “Don’t Say Gay or Trans” bill authorized by Oklahoma Rep. Terry O’Donnell will outlaw the “classroom instruction by school personnel or third parties on sexual orientation or gender identity.” The bill also states that the teaching, “may not occur in kindergarten through grade 3 or in a manner that is not age-appropriate or developmentally appropriate for students in accordance with state standards.” He follows this proposal with a message that the time teaching a child that “they can be whatever they want to be” has been long overdue for a change. DeSantis’ bill has been controversial since its signing as the Trevor Project, a non-profit organization focused on suicide prevention efforts among queer and questioning youth, has been openly opposing this new bill saying it erases, “LGBTQ identity, history, and culture — as well as LGBTQ students themselves.” Much controversy arises from the already apparent lack of support or resources for LGBTQ youth as according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), 16% of gay students have been threatened with physical violence compared to 7% of heterosexual students. This high percentage of bullying towards homosexual youth has led to a despondent 21% of gay youth attempting to commit suicide compared to 7% of heterosexual youth. The Parent Right in Education bill is an extremely far step backward in the fight for equality for all and should be treated as such, not only attacks LGBTQ students but also discourages students that may be questioning how they feel about themselves to open up.