NBC’s Today went into the holiday weekend Friday in a tizzy over the implementation of Florida’s Parental Rights in Education law, decrying it as having “unleashed a torrent of controversy,” “combustible confrontations” by parents and “widespread confusion” and the insane, fact-free claim that it’s “frightening” to be a Floridian.
Correspondent Sam Brock was on scene from Pembroke Pines, first relaying that there’s “widespread confusion among schools across Florida.” Confusion, how you ask? Apparently, it’s too confusing that discussion of sexual content and transgenderism is banned through third grade, but not after that.
Because of that, Brock claimed, the law “has unleashed a torrent of controversy” as it goes into effect Friday despite “heated protests in Florida, a feud between the governor and the Walt Disney company and pending federal lawsuit.”
Brock then laid out the facts of how there’s no basis in reality for “accusations the law restricts gay or transgender teachers from putting a family photo on the desk or referring to them and their spouse and their own children,” but Brock insists it’s the perception that matters, not facts.
“But for many, those words belie the true impact. Dr. Denise Soufrine, who is gay, has spent 34 years in Broward County schools, most recently with kindergarten and first grade,” he explained, to which Soufrine said the Sunshine State’s “moving backwards with regard to civil rights and social justice” to the point that “[i]t’s frightening to be a citizen in Florida.”
Brock gave a soundbite to a parent against teachers discussing graphic sexual content with their young children and arguing they “should be happening in our own homes, at our own discretion, with beliefs of our own Christian values.”
But, once again, Brock framed this as divisive: “[T]he issue...has struck a controversial cord.”
Following cues from the Education and Justice Departments, Brock knocked those pesky parents going to school board meetings:
A series of polarizing meetings in Jacksonville recently leading to combustible confrontations and signs like this one reading, “STOP SEXUAL PROPAGANDA At School.” [sic]
Brock eventually got to Governor Ron DeSantis (R-FL) and his simple aim of ensuring “parents can send their kids to school to get an education, not an indoctrination,” but that was short-lived as Brock resumed his gripe that “many details remain unanswered” while “high schoolers protesting” the bill “were quickly swarmed by hundreds of detractors.”
Tossing back to the studio, Brock warned the issue will only be expanding to other states as “[a]ccording to one group that tracks LGBT censorship, there are some six states with laws on the books, another 33 that have introduced legislation to their state house.”
For a high school coach to be able to pray, he had to spend years going through the court system until Monday’s Supreme Court ruling gave those who want that ability the green light.
A few hours later, Brock surfaced on MSNBC to rehash the key points, but also tout Cory Bernaert, a Florida teacher who went viral for claiming the bill would ban him from telling students he's married to another man.
Remember Cory Bernaert? He's that guy who went viral on MSNBC for fearing he wouldn't be able to tell his kindergarten students that he is married to another man? Well, he's back and this time he's claiming conservatives are trying to "dehumanize people" pic.twitter.com/NQEQsfJLtB— Alex Christy (@alexchristy17) July 1, 2022
NBC’s pity party against parents having a role in their children’s lives on a sensitive subject was made possible thanks to advertisers such as Dove and Ensure. Follow the links to see their contact information at the MRC’s Conservatives Fight Back page.
To see the relevant NBC transcript from July 1, click “expand.”
July 1, 2022
8:05 a.m. Eastern
[ON-SCREEN HEADLINE: News at 8; Confusion as “Don’t Say Gay” Law Takes Effect]
TOM LLAMAS: And after months of debate, protest, and a showdown between Florida's governor and the Disney Corporation what critics call the Don't Say Gay law officially takes effect today. The question: what exactly it means for students and teachers across that state. NBC's Sam Brock has been following this one closely for us. Sam, good morning.
SAM BROCK: Tom, good morning. Look, there is widespread confusion among schools across Florida right now. The states that instruction most certainly will be limited for kindergartners through third grade when it comes to the topics of sexual orientation and gender identity, but Florida admits it does not have a plan right now for older kids as this law has unleashed a torrent of controversy. After months after heated protests in Florida —
PROTESTERS: Don’t Say Gay!
BROCK: — a feud between the governor and the Walt Disney company and pending federal lawsuit, the Parental Rights in Education bill — referred to by critics as “Don't Say Gay” — is now in effect. In a legal motion this week, the state arguing what the law does do, limit classroom instruction on sexual orientation or gender identity for kindergarten through third graders. And what it does not, stating there’s no merit to accusations the law restricts gay or transgender teachers from putting a family photo on the desk or referring to them and their spouse and their own children. But for many, those words belie the true impact. Dr. Denise Soufrine, who is gay, has spent 34 years in Broward County schools, most recently with kindergarten and first grader.
DENISE SOUFRINE: I absolutely feel that we are moving backwards with regard to civil rights and social justice. It’s frightening to be a citizen in Florida.
BROCK: Still, the issue of LGBTQ issues in schools has struck a controversial cord.
UNIDENTIFIED MOM [at a Duval County Public Schools meeting, 06/07/22]: These types of topics should be happening in our own homes, at our own discretion, with beliefs of our own Christian values. [SCREEN WIPE] This is not for our teachers to do.
BROCK: A series of polarizing meetings in Jacksonville recently leading to combustible confrontations and signs like this one reading, “STOP SEXUAL PROPAGANDA At School.” [sic]
GOVERNOR RON DESANTIS (R-FL) [on 03/28/22]: We will make sure parents can send their kids to school to get an education, not an indoctrination.
BROCK: Now, several months after Governor DeSantis signed a bill, many details remain unanswered. The Florida Department of Education noting that it’s still working to develop age appropriate rules for students in older grades. Some high schoolers protesting the legislation in March were quickly swarmed by hundreds of detractors.
CASSIE SANTELLA: We were protesting a bill that would make can queer students feel unsafe and not accepted. The exact same thing we were trying to protest against was what we were facing.
BROCK: And this goes well beyond Florida. According to one group that tracks LGBT censorship, there are some six states with laws on the books, another 33 that have introduced legislation to their state house. And, guys, prior to 2020, there were no laws introduced anywhere in the country of that kind. Tom, back to you.
LLAMAS: Alright, Sam Brock for us. Sam, thank you.