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Parents at governor’s press conference give personal stories about experiences with Florida schools

January Littlejohn

BY JENNIFER CABRERA

In a press conference with Florida Governor Ron DeSantis today, two mothers told about their personal experiences with gender transition policies and curricula in Florida schools. Links to the videos are at the end if you would prefer to watch them.

The student welfare provisions of HB 1557 prohibit schools from withholding information about a student’s mental, emotional, or physical health or wellbeing from parents, and January Littlejohn, a licensed mental health counselor, told her family’s story about their experience with a school in Leon County: “What happened to our family is one of the many reasons this bill is necessary. In September of 2020, my daughter told me after school she had a meeting with school officials that was held behind closed doors, where they asked her which restroom she wanted to use. I immediately contacted the school, was told by the guidance counselor and assistant principal that I could not be given any information regarding the meeting, and that by law, my daughter had to be the one to authorize my notification of the meeting or attendance to the meeting. In other words, school officials asked my 13-year-old child her permission as to whether or not my parental rights would be honored.

“After many weeks of going back and forth with the district, we learned the middle school had created a transgender/gender-non-conforming support plan with our 13-year-old daughter without our knowledge or consent. The plan was a six-page document completed with my daughter behind closed doors with three school officials that included the guidance counselor, the assistant principal, and a social worker I had never met. During the meeting, they asked her questions that could have significantly impacted her safety and her physical and emotional wellbeing, such as which restroom she preferred to use and which sex she preferred to room with on overnight field trips.

“The plan also directed school staff to use my daughter’s birth name when speaking to us, her parents, and to use a different name in school with teachers, staff, and students. This plan directed school staff to conceal from us that this meeting and plan had ever taken place. When parents are excluded from critical decisions affecting their child’s health and wellbeing at school, it sends the message to children that their parents’ input and authority are no longer important. This created a huge wedge between our daughter and us because it sent the message that she needed to be protected from us, not by us.

“Social transition is a medical and mental health intervention that can lead to significant decisions that will impact the child’s mental and physical wellbeing. Often social transition is the first step toward medical transition, and schools are grossly unqualified to be taking these steps without parental involvement.

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“Unfortunately, what happened to my family is not an isolated incident. I have been contacted by parents all over our state who’s had their rights violated in the same manner. Parental involvement in the child’s education is considered by many education experts to be the most important factor in student success. This is well known and documented, yet schools have been systematically cutting parents out of critical decisions being made with their children, painting them as enemies to their children, with no due process. Parents know and love their children more than anyone in this world. I have always told my children my number one job is to keep them safe. And the school took that away from me. For the safety of our children, these criminal rights violations must be stopped, and school districts must be held accountable when they break the law.”

The bill also prohibits classroom instruction by school personnel or third parties on sexual orientation or gender identity in kindergarten through grade 3, and Erin Lovely from Palm Beach County’s story addresses her experience with one such book: “We moved to Palm Beach County from Orlando a year ago… Everyone raved about Marsh Point Elementary, everybody told us it was the very best school in our little area, and so we went with it. A week in, we lost the opt-out opportunity in masking. A month in, a letter was sent home in my son’s backpack… Three kids from each class we’re going to be selected to form a new class without our knowledge at all. There was no details, no info whatsoever, no bio given, no meeting, no photo, and the parents aren’t even allowed in the school. We were just supposed to be okay with, you know, sending our kids to a stranger.

“So we just went with it but quickly started hearing questionable things. Parents were being called bullies because we were emailing her too much… And my son’s behavior started to change a little bit. He was very frustrated with me, more so than normal. Later other things came up, disturbing things about medical choices, things that should be between the family–the kids were given extra credit if they made these medical choices. Second grade, mind you.

Amazon’s description of Call Me Max

“But here’s where I drew the line. Thanksgiving morning… We’re sitting there, and he tells me about a book that she had read to the class called Call Me Max… There was no permission slip given. No heads up… Nothing. There was somebody next door that gave a permission slip out to parents for James and the Giant Peach… After she finished the book… he raised his hand. And he said no, this isn’t right. This is not who God made you to be. And she disagreed with him and said, ‘No, you can be whatever you want to be if you just have an imagination.’

“And so I’m like, ‘Yeah, you know, you can be a doctor or a lawyer, president, but God doesn’t make mistakes and he didn’t make a mistake when he made you.’ … So, needless to say, we never went back. We never went back to that class… When I talked to the principal about it, he said that these books, meaning there’s more than just that one, are a district requirement to be in the public schools. So they have the choice to read them or not, but it’s a district requirement… This school and how they handled things completely shattered my trust.

“And so I’m hoping with this new bill that things can change for all those sweet babies… that aren’t telling their parents and aren’t speaking up. So I’m beyond thankful for the opportunity to be a homeschool mom, it’s crazy, but I’m thankful and I’m hoping that this can help for the parents that don’t have that choice.”

Watch January Littlejohn here.

Watch Erin Lovely here.

  • Organized education hides the fact it’s organized crime. End the unions.

  • parents!! if you love your children remove them from the goverment run indoctrination centers ASAP!

  • Whatever happened to just teaching reading, writing, &
    Arithmetic in elementary school? Why prohibit the teaching of sexual orientation or gender identify
    From kindergarten to grade 3? why not prohibit the teaching of sexual orientation or gender identity until grade 6, or grade 8 or with the offset of puberty? I
    Don’t think it’s appropriate for school teachers to be
    Discussing these matters with such young children…
    It’s not appropriate. It’s the parents job to raise, educate,
    And feed their children. I went to public school in the sixties and this wasn’t a big issue. My sexuality is a personal private matter, and the teachers, their unions,
    & the public schools need to keep their hands out of
    My underwear. I would have been traumatized forever if
    I had a gay queer man teacher “chicken hawking”on
    Me if I was a little boy in elementary school. They need
    To be teaching the ABC’s, not LBGQXYZ in elementary
    School. Elementary schools need to be rated G, not X.

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