Florida Agriculture Commissioner Nikki Fried (D), who is running for governor in 2022 in the Democrat primary, called Florida Governor Ron DeSantis (R) and his fellow Florida Republicans “creepy” for opposing sexual content being taught in Florida’s public schools.
“It’s weird, and rather creepy,” Fried said. “He’s trying to create yet another manufactured crisis, another culture war, another political opportunity to divide us because he’s running for president.”
Fried continued her comments by saying that Florida’s Republicans are focused on “extremism.”
“I’m going to just come out and call this exactly what this is,” Fried said. “It’s extremism politics getting in the way of feeding our children. I will not allow Gov. DeSantis or anyone to deny food to hungry kids for any reason.”
The “extremism” Fried is seemingly referencing is Florida’s Parental Rights in Education Bill, which garnered national attention in the spring because the legislation banned sexual content being discussed in public schools for grades kindergarten through third.
Democrats and opponents of the legislation dubbed it the “don’t say gay” bill and have referred to it as extreme legislation, despite the fact that the phrase “don’t say gay” is not found in the text of the legislation.
Florida Education Commissioner Manny Diaz Jr. released a memo saying that Florida’s school districts do not have to follow federal guidelines that require schools to accommodate transgender students’ bathroom preferences.
“The Department will not stand idly by as federal agencies attempt to impose a sexual ideology on Florida schools that risk the health, safety, and welfare of Florida students,” Diaz wrote.
While DeSantis has yet to expressly respond to this particular comment from Fried, DeSantis has commented earlier this year that he was shocked to find out about the well-documented sexual indoctrination going on in Florida’s schools.
“The Parental Rights in Education was interesting because I didn’t know what was being done to try and get this in with these very young kids,” DeSantis said. “So the legislature in Florida starts debating this and so I’m out just doing my stuff around the state and these reporters start badgering me about this. And they’re saying ‘this bill,’ and I’m like, ‘Wait a minute. Okay. I haven’t read it but I know they’re lying. I know the media is lying.’”
DeSantis’ press secretary, Christian Pushaw, has been aggressive in referring to the legislation as the “anti-groomer” bill. “Grooming” is a term to describe LGBT individuals who “groom” children into their lifestyle once they become of age.
Pushaw has said that if you are “against the Anti-Grooming Bill, you are probably a groomer or at least you don’t denounce the grooming of 4-8-year-old children.” Pushaw added, “Silence is complicity. This is how it works, Democrats, and I didn’t make the rules.”
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Grant Holcomb is a reporter at The Florida Capital Star and The Star News Network. Follow Grant on Twitter and direct message tips.
Photo “Nikki Fried” by Nikki Fried. Photo “Ron DeSantis” by Gage Skidmore. CC BY-SA 2.0. Background Photo “Classroom” by Wokandapix.