A letter reportedly circulating among Florida teachers is highlighting a thought-provoking sabotage of the state’s controversial new “Don’t Say Gay” law.
Since it’s now illegal to address gender identity or sexual orientation issues in schools for students from kindergarten through third grade, the letter recommends referring to all students as “they” and “them” to avoid “gendered pronouns” like “he” and “she.”
Also, “Mr.” and “Mrs.” should clearly be dropped for all teachers to conform with the law, the letter argues.
The strategy was spelled out in a “template” letter for teachers in Palm Beach County, according to the right-wing Moms for Liberty organization, which obtained a copy of the memo. The group posted the template on its Twitter site, and it’s now tearing through social media.
The “Don’t Say Gay” Florida law in fact does not mention the word “gay” anywhere in the text. And since it now bans addressing gender identity and sexual orientation issues in lower grades, the law could convincingly be understood to apply to all genders and sexual orientations.
Moms for Liberty called on parents in its tweet to “take a stand” against the perspective in the letter. But many responses on Twitter pointed out that ignoring all gender identities and sexual orientation appears to now be the law.
Several LGBTQ advocacy groups and families on Thursday filed a joint federal lawsuit against Florida over the state’s “Don’t Say Gay” law, arguing that the legislation is unconstitutional and has already begun harming children and families.
Check out the letter, Moms for Liberty’s response ... and the takedowns here:
Attention Parents! 🚨
A teacher in Palm Beach County, FL shared this template with us. It is being shared among teachers to use for grades K-3.
How do you feel about this? What will you do when this arrives home in your child’s backpack?
Time to take a Stand. pic.twitter.com/Zo39SrxoJc
— Moms for Liberty (@Moms4Liberty) April 1, 2022
I guess you guys didn't realize that "heterosexual" is ALSO a sexual orientation, huh?
— Cat Food Casserole (@CasseroleFood) April 1, 2022
Florida: You're not allowed to discuss sexuality or gender in school
Teachers: Okay, we will diligently avoid reference to sexuality and gender
Florida: Not like that
— ¢älv¡n (@CDG_GTR) April 1, 2022
Bathrooms will have to be labeled without gender now, because "gender identity" is a prohibited topic, so no child is permitted to identify as a boy and use the boy's bathroom, or identify as a girl and use the girl's bathroom. THIS IS WHAT YOU WANTED.
— Al Peṭṭerson (@eyelessgame) April 1, 2022
Remember when DeSantis and others insisted that this wasn't homophobic but would be applied equally to heteronormative content? Well, there you go.
But thanks for admitting that the intent was to ensure heteronormative content only, confirming the criticisms.👍
— Joshua Stein, philosophy, ethics, politics (@thephilosotroll) April 1, 2022
oh I’m sorry I thought gender was a thing not to be discussed pic.twitter.com/SK7bu93dhd
— kilgore trout, death to putiner (@KT_So_It_Goes) April 1, 2022
As a Florida parent, I say it is the unintended consequence of a short-sighted, narrow minded, ill-defined bill. You broke it, you buy it. This is an implication of the law you championed. Read more, hate less.
— lessbarb (@lessbarb) April 2, 2022
This article originally appeared on HuffPost and has been updated.