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The Beacon

The Student Newspaper of MAST Academy, since 1991.
The Student News Site of MAST Academy

The Beacon

The Beacon

Senior Issue 2024
June 5, 2024

New Rules for You

New Florida legislation on public education went into effect July 1st
A student restroom, clearly separated by the new law prohibiting students from using restrooms or changing facilities of the opposite biological sex. Digital art by Kamilah Gurdian.

On July 19th, 2023, the State Board of Education in Florida voted unanimously on new rules in public education to “… strengthen and enhance the safety and welfare of students in K-12 public schools and protect parental rights,” as the Florida Department of Education released in a statement

HB 1069, is an educational bill banning the instruction of gender identity and sexual orientation to all grade levels. The bill also does not allow students to be asked their preferred pronouns and allows students and faculty of a public school to ignore preferred pronouns if their pronouns do not correspond to their sex assigned at birth, with the exception of the preferred pronouns of intersex people. This means that if you are “biologically male” you may only use he/him/his pronouns and if you are “biologically female” can only use she/her/hers pronouns. Florida Governor Ron DeSantis approved HB 1069 on May 17th.

HB 1521, also known as “Safety in Private Spaces Act”, covers “Facility Requirements Based on Sex”. It was approved by DeSantis on May 17th. This bill includes separating restrooms and changing facilities in schools based on biological sex assigned at birth. Members of the opposite sex (assigned at birth) may not enter a restroom for the opposite sex unless in the case of an emergency, if the restroom designated to members of the same sex are closed, or to clean (only if restrooms are vacant). Intersex people are exempt from this bill.

SB 1438 was approved by DeSantis on May 17th, and titled “Protection of Children” which prevents students from attending a school-sponsored event or activity to a form of “adult live entertainment” such as a drag show, to protect “…the innocence of students.”

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HB 379 is an education bill on technology use and was signed by DeSantis on May 17th. Under HB 379, the use of cell phones and social media during school hours is prohibited. Teachers must “designate an area for wireless communications during instructional time” such as a phone caddy.

Apart from new legislation, changes to the Florida public school curriculum have been made.

Florida’s state academic standards for social studies have been updated to include “how slaves developed skills which, in some instances, could be applied for their personal benefit” when teaching African American history.

The Florida Board of Education approved the use of PragerU Kids videos in educational lectures. PragerU has published videos on American History, Political Science, The Government, Financial Literacy, Civics American Values, Judeo-Christian Values, The Bible, and more.

“PragerU is an educational media platform dedicated to promoting pro-American values,” according to PragerU’s YouTube account description.

PragerU has published many conservative videos apart from their PragerU Kids videos such as “No One Does Womanhood Like A Man”, about a transgender woman winning Ms. Netherlands. The video was captioned, “A male wins Miss Netherlands..” Another video, “Using the Classroom to Create Marxist Revolutionaries Has Been the Plan All Along,” which was captioned: “America’s education system has been hijacked by Marxists masquerading as teachers, determined to indoctrinate your children in their destructive worldview.”

“There is no higher calling than to protect our children from unwelcome influences and indoctrination,” said Commissioner of Education Manny Diaz, Jr.

These changes and additions to Florida Education further protect the rights of students and parents, according to the statement released by the Florida Department of Education.

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About the Contributor
Kamilah Gurdián
Kamilah Gurdián, Editor in Chief
Kamilah Gurdián is a senior at MAST Academy. As of 2023, she is starting her third year as a student at MAST at the age of 17. She used to attend iPrep Academy North during her freshmen year, but wanted to attend MAST since she was in Grade 5. Along with her, her younger brother who’s in Grade 7 attends MAST as well. She a first-generation immigrant in America and her mom is from Colombia and her dad is from Nicaragua. She is interested in math as a future career and takes multiple math classes.
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