Florida drops anti-harassment webpage after complaints about inclusion of LGBTQ + resources


The Florida Department of Education (DOE) last week removed a web page providing anti-bullying resources for educators, parents and students that included links to LGBTQ + advocacy groups.

The page was removed after the Florida Capital Star, a right-wing online publication, asked department officials why a web page describing defenses against bullying offered inclusive resources for LGBTQ + people.

Jared Ochs, the department’s communications director, told Change America the page was pulled “out of caution” and external links were being reviewed for “convenience.” He did not say when this review would be completed.

“Unfortunately, the links we looked at pointed to US DOE web pages that previously provided helpful advice and information, but are now being used as advocacy platforms,” he wrote in an e -mail, adding that the content embedded in external links can “change drastically without our knowledge.”

“We just can’t guarantee the content from all of these external sources because we make sure that the resources are up to standards and best practices. As a result, from the content found on the US DOE website, we are now looking at all links to the Federal Government. on our website to make sure the information is relevant, current and appropriate, ”he wrote.


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The Capital Star criticized the webpage‘s inclusion of links to LGBTQ + rights organizations like the Gay, Lesbian, and Straight Education Network, which works to end discrimination and bullying based on sexual orientation or gender identity in K-12 schools.

The Capital Star described GLSEN as “part of a billion dollar network” that is “focused on initiatives that promote gender identity and transgender”.

Invented by anti-transgender activists, the word “transgender” is not commonly used by the trans community. According to GLAAD LGBTQ + Media Advocacy Group, it is used to “dehumanize transgender people and reduce who they are to” one condition. “

The Capital Star also opposed the Education Department’s anti-bullying page, including a link to StopBullying.gov, a federal website providing advice for parents and school staff to end bullying of all types, including anti-LGBTQ + bullying.

LGBTQ + rights group Equality Florida condemned the removal of the webpage, demanding that it be reinstated.

“The attacks on LGBTQ students in Tallahassee are fueling a toxic and dangerous environment on the ground,” Equality Florida executive director Nadine Smith said on Monday. in a report.

“From passing an explicitly anti-transgender law this year to a bill that would jail doctors for providing life-saving medical care to transgender children, a politically motivated assault on the LGBTQ community puts young people at risk.” , she added. “Vulnerable young people deserve better than a DeSantis administration that intends to endanger them in order to score cheap political points. “

Florida earlier this year female transgender athletes banned to play in girls’ sports teams in public schools.

Florida isn’t the only state pulling online LGBTQ + resources from a state site, and Texas in October removal of information from a suicide prevention hotline for LGBTQ + youth from the Department of Family and Protective Services website after one of Republican Governor Greg Abbott’s main challengers targeted him. The abbot is a candidate for re-election in November.

The Florida Office of Safe Schools, whose anti-bullying webpage was removed, was established in 2018 after a mass shooting at Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School in Parkland, Fla. That left 17 people dead and 17 injured.


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