Transphobic bill further endangers trans students


Danielle Stein

Students gather in front of the school to protest legislation. This picture depicts a nonschool or SCPS District initiated, endorsed, or sponsored event. Students organized themselves to protest against Florida legislation.

Mikayla Philpot, Reporter

The Florida Senate has recently received house bill 1069 c2 which, if passed, will put transphobic political opinions into education, where they do not belong. 

It seeks to define sex as “an immutable biological trait” and claims it is “false” to use pronouns that do not align with a person’s assigned sex at birth. It also prevents public school employees and contractors from providing their preferred pronouns if they do not align with their assigned sex at birth, and from asking for students’ preferred pronouns. 

This bill not only serves to further ostracize trans people within the education system, it purposefully encourages the teaching of transphobic thinking to students. If this bill passes, it will be required to be taught that “these reproductive roles are binary, stable, and unchangeable.” This provides a purposefully incomplete understanding of biology, in an attempt to claim trans people are in some way wrong or unnatural. And this kind of ostracization will result in severe consequences for trans kids. 

By encouraging practices that will actively contribute to a lack of both internal and peer acceptance, those who pass this bill will inevitably worsen mental health issues and even suicide rates in Florida’s trans youth. 

According to a study published by the National Library of Medicine, “Suicide and Suicidal Behavior among Transgender Persons,” 41% of transgender people in the United States attempt suicide at least once in their life. This astronomically high rate is due to the severe lack of acceptance that trans people often face in comparison to the average person. 

We should be working to take whatever measures possible to make trans kids as comfortable as possible in their school environment, and reduce trans suicide as a whole. Especially given that it’s been shown that if trans kids’ true identities are accepted and respected, they will have much better mental health outcomes. According to a study published by the National Library of Medicine, “Mental Health of Transgender Children Who Are Supported in Their Identities,” transgender children who are able to socially transition and are supported in their gender identity “have developmentally normative levels of depression and only minimal elevations in anxiety.” 

It is a complete and utter shame that rather than trying to work towards this reality, Florida’s government has decided it is more important to further a political agenda that has no place in education in the first place. 

This agenda is made further obvious by the bill’s requirement of “teaching the benefit of monogamous heterosexual marriage.” 

This bill has nothing to do with accurately defining sex, but rather it serves an attack on the LGBTQIA+ youth and the community as a whole. We should not be trying to teach children that being straight is the “right” way. Public schools are supposed to be secular and free of politics. A lack of acceptance of the LGBTQIA+ community is related to conservative religious and political beliefs, and therefore has no place being taught to children as fact.

This bill is nothing but a disgusting attempt to integrate conservative political beliefs into Florida’s public schools, and it will only serve to harm students should it get passed.