Rick Scott’s Solution to Bullied LGBT Youth? Legal Bullying by Church and State


Some Students Are Taught Gay Rights Are 'Moral Evils' by Private Schools That Bullied LGBTQ Students Are Supposed to Turn to if They're Being Bullied

Florida Gov. Rick Scott earlier this year signed into law a bill that provides $7000 a year in state funding to public school students who are being bullied, enabling them to switch to private, often Christian schools.

“Every child in Florida should have the opportunity to get a great education at the school of their choice so they can achieve their dreams,” Scott, sounding very much like Betsy DeVos, said in March at the new law's signing ceremony.

The problem, as HuffPost reports, is many of the schools are anti-LGBTQ, leading to "state-sponsored bullying ― by refusing to admit LGBTQ students or outlining punishment for students in same-sex relationships." And at least 10 percent of the current private schools that have already signed up for the program "have zero tolerance policies for LGBTQ students."

HuffPost adds that "more than 30 percent of the nearly 70 schools use a curriculum that promotes bigoted views of LGBTQ students. These schools use curricula created by ultra-evangelical companies like Abeka, Bob Jones University Press and Accelerated Christian Education. A HuffPost investigation into these curriculum sources found that they promote regressive or hateful ideas about LGBTQ people, women and non-Christians."

One school’s student handbook says students are required to refrain from “Any action involving pornography or homosexuality.” Another school’s student handbook says that in addition to prohibiting sex before marriage, “Homosexuality is likewise denounced and is called an abomination to God.”

One textbook calls gay rights "moral evils," likening equality to abortion. It also describes conservatives as "mainstream Americans," and declares outright that opposition to gay rights and abortion, along with declaring oneself a born-again Christian is more important than political policies.

If Governor Scott, a Republican who is now running to oust Democratic U.S. Senator Bill Nelson, sounded like Betsy DeVos (she has donated to his re-election campaign), perhaps it's because the U.S. Education Secretary has been heralding these "school choice" programs that funnel taxpayer funds into anti-LGBT private Christian schools.

Back in May DeVos said she would refuse to address anti-LGBT discrimination, even wrongly calling "school choice," also known as vouchers, a panacea to bullying.

Hat tip: LGBTQ Nation

Image by Gage Skidmore via Flickr and a CC license



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