Former Democratic presidential candidate Tulsi Gabbard expressed support Monday for Florida’s newly passed “Parental Rights in Education” bill.
Gabbard said in a video that parents’ rights are “under attack” across the country due to the government interfering in their responsibility to raise their children. She argued Florida’s “Parental Rights in Education” bill— which Republican Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis signed into law March 28 — will prevent the government from “indoctrinating” students.
“We should all support the Parental Rights in Education bill that recently passed in Florida, which very simply bans government and government schools from indoctrinating woke sexual values in our schools to a captive audience,” Gabbard said. “A captive audience that is by law required to attend.”
When I first heard about Florida’s Parental Rights bill, I was shocked it only protects children K-3. Third grade? How about 12th grade—or not at all. Meanwhile, schools are failing: 1 in 4 graduates are functionally illiterate. Parents should raise their kids, not the government pic.twitter.com/CycF8cKRh3
— Tulsi Gabbard ? (@TulsiGabbard) April 4, 2022
She then noted that she was “shocked” that the legislation’s provision prohibiting classroom discussion about sexual orientation and gender identity only applied to “kids from kindergarten till third grade.” (RELATED: Tulsi Gabbard Rips ‘Hypocrisy And Absurdity’ Of SCOTUS Nominee’s Inability To Define ‘Woman’)
“What about 12th grade or not at all? Now, government has no place in our personal lives, government has no place in our bedrooms,” she said. “Parents are the ones responsible for raising their kids and instilling in them a moral foundation, not the government.”
Gabbard said the education system is “failing” throughout the U.S., citing statistics that 34% of students read below the “basic reading level in the fourth grade” and 25% of high school graduates are “functionally illiterate.” She said schools need to focus on teaching students the “fundamentals” to improve literacy rates.
“Now I’m confident that if our schools focused on educating our kids, teaching them the fundamentals — things like English, math, science, civics, [and] history — we would see our literacy rates improve and set our young people up for success. They’ll be thinking logically, they’ll be thinking critically and thinking for themselves. This is what our public schools should focus on,” she said.
Sexual orientation and gender identity have been incorporated for content targeted at young children in recent years, including a “Blue’s Clues” music video featuring same-sex couples, drag queens and transgender children at a pride parade. Some children have also been exposed to drag queens reading stories about “gender fluidity” in primary-level classrooms.