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'We Want Our Kids to Be Kids': Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis Dubs 2022 'Year of the Parent'

Image Source: AP Photo/Evan Vucci
Image Source: AP Photo/Evan Vucci

Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis (R) dubbed 2022 the “year of the parent” at the end of his state’s legislative session.

The Republican governor’s remarks follow weeks of deceptive reporting on the Sunshine State’s Parental Rights in Education bill, which has been mischaracterized by leftist groups and media outlets as the “Don’t Say Gay” bill.

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Contrary to the media’s framing, the legislation prohibits teacher-led instruction on “sexual orientation and gender identity” from pre-K through third grade, but the five-page bill does not once mention the word “gay” or ban its use.

“People actually said that if you don’t have classroom instruction on sexual matters in grades K-3, that somehow businesses don’t want to be in Florida?” DeSantis said after being asked by a reporter how businesses in Florida would respond to him signing the bill into law. “I think people need to get out of their bubble and actually talk to parents.”

DeSantis — a father himself — directly referenced the “parental rights” bill in his speech.

“As a parent of three kids that are age five and under, thank you for letting me and my wife send our kids to kindergarten without them being sexualized,” he said.

He added, “I think if you look at what’s been done, both in terms of funding and policy, this really was the year of the parent in the state of Florida.”

The Florida legislation has garnered outsized attention on the national stage.

Among the bill’s top critics is the Walt Disney Company, whose CEO, Bob Chapek expressed “disappointment and concern” over the controversial bill. Initially, Chapek took an apolitical stance but backtracked after facing intense criticism from inside and outside Disney.

Chapek said last week he spoke with DeSantis over the phone to address his issues with the proposal, which the governor is expected to sign into law.

DeSantis told constituents he is not swayed by Chapek, noting Florida laws won’t be impacted by “the musings of woke corporations.”

“If you’re family-friendly, understand the parents, who are actually raising families, want to have their rights respected,” he said. “And I also think that you have companies, like a Disney, that are going to say and criticize parents’ rights, they’re gonna criticize the fact that we don’t want transgenderism in kindergarten and first-grade classrooms. If that’s the hill that they’re gonna die on, then how do they possibly explain lining their pockets with their relationship from the Communist Party of China? Because that’s what they do and they make a fortune and they don’t say a word about the really brutal practices that you see over there at the hands of the CCP.”

As Faithwire previously reported, a new survey by The Daily Wire found a majority of Americans — 67% — believe Disney is “wrong” to speak out against the Florida bill.

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