A Florida teacher has announced her very early retirement, blaming Governor Ron DeSantis’ new law that limits sexually-orientated education in the youngest classrooms… even though she teaches students past the age restrictions of the law.
Nicolette Solomon, 28, who is married to another woman, claims “the climate of homophobia” she says the law created has effectively diminished her calling to be a teacher, according to an overly dramatic story in The Washington Post titled, “This Florida teacher married a woman. Now she’s not a teacher anymore.”
The Parental Rights in Education law, which doesn’t go into effect until July 1, that prohibits sexually-oriented content from being taught to young children between kindergarten and 3rd grade has evidently all but demolished Solomon’s will to make a difference in the lives of her 4th graders.
“She wondered: Could she be herself and stay a teacher in Florida?” the Post article stated.
Not exactly traits of a trailblazing, fearless visionary of an educator.
As a teacher in Miami, she claims that she did not ever plan on directly discussing gender identity or LGBT topics in her classroom, but that she did feel restricted in her ability to reference her wife to students.
“Solomon thought about how, under the new law, a parent lawsuit could stem from just one awkward exchange about her personal life,” the article, written by Hannah Natanson, continued.
Although the new law, which can be reviewed here, has been dubbed by opponents and media outlets as the “Don’t Say Gay” bill, it does not prohibit teachers from being themselves, though it does stipulate that lesson plans must be “age-appropriate or developmentally appropriate.”
If a teacher violates the law, parents of kindergarten through grade 3 students have the ability to sue the school district; Solomon taught fourth-grade at Key Biscayne K-8 Center.
The governor of Alabama signed a similar bill into law in April, and other like-minded bills are being considered in at least 19 other states, as well.
Other teachers are getting upset, quitting, and getting fired, as well, even before the implementation of the law, all throughout the state of Florida. For instance, according to NBC News, in Orlando, a teacher quit his 6th-grade position after his student’s parents complained that he was talking about his same-sex marriage too frequently.
Another teacher based in the Cape Coral area, who teaches middle school art, lost her job after reportedly mentioning her personal journey with pansexuality, also reported by NBC.
Those who oppose the bill’s effects on the Florida education system claim that it silences LGBT students, those with LGBT families and households, and the teachers and coaches themselves.
On Twitter, however, many parents from across the country and within Florida are voicing their support for Governor DeSantis’s bill. They didn’t seem particularly sad to see Solomon retiring at such an early age.
“This is what happens when you base your whole identity on what you are and not who you are,” tweeted @therichboutot, who lists his pronouns on his profile as “Leave/Me/The/F*ck/Alone.”
This is what happens when you base your whole identity on what you are and not who you are.
— My name is Rich. (@therichboutot) May 21, 2022
Others called out the “political stunt,” noting that the Florida law does not even affect the grade Solomon was teaching.
And specific to not discussing sexuality with those students, her own sexuality or anyone else’s. If discussion of her own sexuality was such an integral part of her teaching that she feels she must resign, then that’s probably for the best…
— CO1876 (@coredog66) May 21, 2022
“Solomon taught fourth-graders in the Miami area, where she told the Post she never talked about her wife with students”
So the law doesn’t affect her in the slightest, it’s just a political stunt…… Got it…..😂🤦
— 𝕻𝖆𝖎𝖓𝖋𝖚𝖑𝖑𝖞 𝕭𝖊𝖒𝖚𝖘𝖊𝖉 (@bjones306) May 21, 2022
I stubbed my toe the other day. Thanks Ron!
— billy jenkins (@IamBillyJenkins) May 21, 2022
Not only that, to make a statement, she quit in the middle of the school year, leaving the students, who she claims to love so dearly, high and dry.
The Washington Post presents her here as a hero and a victim.
She’s clearly the villain in this story.
— JcT (@txJCTtx) May 22, 2022
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