Miami-Dade school board declines to designate October 'LGBTQ History Month' after fiery parental rights debate

Miami-Dade school board cited Florida's Parental Rights in Education law in rejecting the proposal

The Miami-Dade school board rejected a measure on Wednesday that would have designated October as LGBTQ History Month. 

After tense debate, the board voted against the action H-11 proposed by member Lucia Baez-Geller, arguing that it may conflict with Florida’s Parental Rights in Education law, WPLG reported. 

The law, which left-leaning politicians and media personalities branded the "Don't Say Gay" bill, bans teachers from leading classroom instruction on gender identity or sexual orientation for students in kindergarten through third grade. Florida Republican Gov. Ron DeSantis signed it into law in March. 

"This item does not indoctrinate students, it does not force an agenda on students," Baez-Geller said during the meeting, as the audience groaned, according to Politico. "And, as was stated incorrectly, this item does not take away parental choice."

DEMOCRATS CLAIM FLORIDA IS PUSHING ‘DON’T SAY GAY' BILL. HERE'S WHAT THE LEGISLATION ACTUALLY SAYS 

Besides making October LGBTQ History Month, the proposal would have given teachers of high school seniors resources to explore lessons on "important landmark civil rights" Supreme Court and high court cases, such as the 2015 gay marriage ruling Obergefell v. Hodges and the 2020 ruling Bostock v. Clayton County. 

This file photo shows Miami-Dade Public Schools board member Lubby Navarro, center, sits next to board member Christi Fraga in a January meeting. 

This file photo shows Miami-Dade Public Schools board member Lubby Navarro, center, sits next to board member Christi Fraga in a January meeting.  (Matias J. Ocner/Miami Herald/Tribune News Service via Getty Images)

The school board rejected the measure by an 8-1 vote. Perla Tabares Hantman, the chair of the school board, Steve Gallon III, the vice chair of the school board, and six other members – Luisa Santos, Dorothy Bendross-Mindingall, Lubby Navarro, Mari Tere Rojas, Marta Pérez, and Christi Fraga – voted against it.

People carry the Rainbow Flag as they participate in the Miami Beach Pride Parade along Ocean Drive on September 19, 2021. 

People carry the Rainbow Flag as they participate in the Miami Beach Pride Parade along Ocean Drive on September 19, 2021.  (Joe Raedle/Getty Images)

Still, Santos said she did not approve of how other adults treated 17-year-old Andrea S. Pita Mendez, the school board’s student advisor, who is not a voting member, during the meeting. Mendez addressed the board Wednesday to voice support for making October LGBTQ History Month after speaking with peers.

LGBTQ employees protesting CEO Bob Chapek's handling of the staff controversy over Florida's "Don't Say Gay" bill, aka the "Parental Rights in Education" bill walk out from Walt Disney Animation on Tuesday, March 22, 2022, in Burbank, CA. 

LGBTQ employees protesting CEO Bob Chapek's handling of the staff controversy over Florida's "Don't Say Gay" bill, aka the "Parental Rights in Education" bill walk out from Walt Disney Animation on Tuesday, March 22, 2022, in Burbank, CA.  ((Irfan Khan / Los Angeles Times via Getty Images))

"I do believe this is in direct violation of our parental rights bill," Christi Fraga, who voted against the proposal, said, according to Politico. "If not so directly, in spirit, it is. Because this is saying a full endorsement in the entire district of this month — that includes kindergarten through 12th grade."

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Debate over the measure reportedly cited indoctrination and Nazis, and WPLG reported that security intervened when the crowd grew rowdy in one particularly heated exchange.