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Open letter to the School Board regarding Senate Bill 1834

Dear Board members, 

At the March 2 Alachua County School Board meeting, Chair Rob Hyatt made the following statement regarding a “pernicious” bill before the Florida legislature: “In Alachua County Public Schools, we support all students, all families, all employees, we support our LGBTQ+ folks that are with us, that are a vital part of everything we do—what is happening in Tallahassee is not what we do in Alachua County. That’s me speaking, but it’s beyond unacceptable. This is 2022.”

I write to correct Hyatt on his misrepresentation of the above-referenced bill. Hyatt suggested that the bill was anti-LGBTQ, and that is simply not true. He also stated that he wasn’t going to “say the name of the bill,” which did nothing but further fan the flames of ignorance consuming our board. The bill in question is titled “Parental Rights in Education” (SB 1834/HB 1557), and I would expect every member of a board overseeing nearly 30,000 students to read the bill and be informed BEFORE slandering the legislature.

Mr. Hyatt owes the district an apology and needs to immediately make a public statement acknowledging his full understanding of the bill and its intentions. He needs to immediately denounce and condemn the use of the activist phrase, “Don’t Say Gay.”

We now have uninformed students planning walkouts based on misinformation repeated by the chairman of the Alachua County School Board. This is NOT leadership. This is a disservice to our entire student body. 

I will ask this question at the next board meeting: “Do members of this board find it appropriate for teachers to initiate conversations with 5-year-olds regarding their sexual orientation or gender identity?”

Tommy Rogers, Gainesville

The opinions expressed by letter or opinion writers are their own and do not necessarily represent the views of AlachuaChronicle.com. Letters may be submitted to info@alachuachronicle.com and are published at the discretion of the editor.

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