Statement by Secretary of Education Miguel Cardona on Newly Signed Florida State Legislation

Statement by Secretary of Education Miguel Cardona on Newly Signed Florida State Legislation

March 28, 2022

U.S. Secretary of Education Miguel Cardona today issued the following statement in response to the Florida Legislature's Parental Rights in Education bill being signed into law:

“By signing this bill, Gov. DeSantis has chosen to target some of Florida’s most vulnerable students and families, all while under the guise of 'parents' rights.' Make no mistake: this is a part of a disturbing and dangerous trend across the country of legislation targeting LGBTQI+ students, educators, and individuals. This comes at a time when we know lesbian, gay, bisexual, and questioning students are three to four times more likely than non-LGBTQI+ students to report experiencing persistent feelings of sadness, hopelessness, and even self harm – not because of who they are but because of the hostility directed at them. I’ve spoken to parents and families in Florida and they’ve consistently told me that this legislation doesn’t represent them or what they stand for. Instead of telling some students or families it’s not okay to be who they are, our Department is fighting for dignity and opportunity for every student and family. We will continue to prioritize getting billions of dollars of American Rescue Plan funds into schools and classrooms across the country to support the mental health and academic needs of students, educators, and families. And, we will be monitoring this law upon implementation to evaluate whether it violates federal civil rights law. As always, any student who believes they are experiencing discrimination, including harassment, at school or any parent who is concerned that about their child experiencing discrimination can file a complaint with our Office for Civil Rights.”