HOUSE OF REPRESENTATIVES STAFF ANALYSIS
BILL #: CS/HB 1223 Public PreK-12 Educational Institution and Instruction Requirements
SPONSOR(S): Choice & Innovation Subcommittee, Anderson
TIED BILLS: None. IDEN./SIM. BILLS: SB 1320
REFERENCE ACTION ANALYST STAFF DIRECTOR or
1) Choice & Innovation Subcommittee 14 Y, 4 N, As CS Wolff Sleap
2) Education & Employment Committee
In 2021, the Legislature adopted the Parental Bill of Rights specifically enumerating the rights of parents to
direct the upbringing, education, and care of their minor children. In 2022, the Legislature built on this landmark
legislation by providing additional authority for parents to be involved in the education and health services
provided by a school district to their students.
The bill expands existing parental authority over a child’s education by extending the existing prohibition on
instruction relating to sexual orientation and gender identity in kindergarten through grade 3 to include
prekindergarten through grade 8 and expressly stating that charter schools must comply with this requirement.
The prohibition includes private prekindergarten providers that participate in the voluntary prekindergarten
program. Consistent with existing law, the bill requires that instruction on sexual orientation and gender identity
in grades 9 through 12 be age-appropriate or developmentally appropriate for students. Additionally, the bill
requires additional transparency regarding school district policies and procedures.
The bill also defines, for the purposes of the Early Learning-20 Education Code, “sex” as the classification of a
person as either female or male based on the organization of the body of such person for a specific
reproductive role, as indicated by the person's sex chromosomes, naturally occurring sex hormones, and
internal and external genitalia present at birth and reenacts a number of provisions in the education code to
incorporate the definition of “sex” throughout. The bill implements new requirements relating to the use of
personal titles and pronouns in Florida’s public schools, with an exception for individuals with spec ified
conditions. Specifically, the bill prohibits:
an employee, contractor, or student, as a condition of employment, enrollment, or participation, at a
public K-12 educational institution, be required to refer to another individual by a personal title or
pronouns that do not align with the person’s sex;
a K-12 public institution employee or contractor from providing a student with the individuals preferred
personal title or pronouns if they do not correspond to the employee or contactors sex;
any requirement that a student provide his or her preferred personal title or pronouns; and
any penalty or adverse action against a student for not providing his or her preferred title or pronouns.
The State Board of Education is granted rulemaking authority to adopt rules to implement the requirements
relating to personal titles or pronouns.
The bill does not appear to have a fiscal impact.
The bill has an effective date of July 1, 2023.
This docum ent does not reflect the intent or official position of the bill sponsor or House of Representatives .
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I. SUBSTANTIVE ANALYSIS
A. EFFECT OF PROPOSED CHANGES:
Constitutional Rights of Parents
It is well settled that the interest of parents in the care, custody, and control of their children is perhaps
the oldest of the recognized fundamental liberty interests protected by the Due Process Clause of the
Fourteenth Amendment to the United States Constitution. 1 This fundamental liberty interest is rooted in
the fundamental right of privacy in making important decisions relating to marriage, family relationships,
and child rearing and education.2 The United States Supreme Court has explained the fundamental
nature of this right is rooted in history and tradition:3
The history and culture of Western civilization reflect a strong tradition of
parental concern for the nurture and upbringing of their children. This
primary role of the parents in the upbringing of their children is now
established beyond debate as an enduring American tradition.
The Florida Supreme Court has likewise recognized that parents have a fundamental liberty interest in
determining the care and upbringing of their children.4 These rights may not be intruded upon absent a
compelling state interest.5 According to the Florida Supreme Court, when analyzing a statute that
infringes on the fundamental right of privacy, the applicable standard of review requires that the statute
survive the highest level of scrutiny:6
The right of privacy is a fundamental right which we believe demands the
compelling state interest standard. This test shifts the burden of proof to
the state to justify an intrusion on privacy. The burden can be met by
demonstrating that the challenged regulation serves a compelling state
interest and accomplishes its goal through the use of the least intrusive
The United States Supreme Court has held that students in schools are ‘persons’ under the constitution
and that they are possessed of fundamental rights which the state must respect. 7 Florida’s constitution
provides broad protections to its citizens right to privacy8 and the Florida Supreme Court has held that
1 Santosky v. Kramer, 455 U.S. 745, 748 and 753 (1982) (holding the fundamental liberty interest of natural parents in the care
custody, and management of their child is protected by the Fourteenth Amendment, and termination of any parental rights requires due
process proceedings); Troxel v. Granville, 530 U.S. 57, 66 (2000) (holding there is a fundamental right under the Fourteenth
Amendment for parents to oversee the care, custody, and control of their children).
2 Carey v. Population Svcs. Int’l, 431 US 678, 684-685 (1977) (recognizing the right of privacy in personal decisions relating to
marriage, family relationships, child rearing, and education); See Wisconsin v. Yoder, 406, U.S. 205, 232-33 (1972) (holding a state
law requiring that children attend school past eight grade violates the parents’ constitutional right to direct the religious upbringing of
their children); See Parham v. J.R., 442 U.S. 584, 602 (1979) (recognizing the presumption that parents act in their children’s best
interest); Meyer v. Nebraska, 262 U.S. 390, 400-01 (1923) (affirming that the Constitution protects the preferences of the parent in
education over those of the state); Pierce v. Society of Sisters, 268 U.S. 510, 534-35 (1925) (recognizing the right of parents to direct
the upbringing of and education of their children).
3 Wisconsin v. Yoder, 406, U.S. 205, 232 (1972).
4 Beagle v. Beagle, 678 So. 2d 1271, 1272 (Fla. 1996) (holding a state law violated a parent’s constitutional right to privacy by
imposing grandparent visitation rights over objection of the parent without evidence of harm to the child or other compelling state
5 Id. See, e.g., Shevin v. Byron, Harless, Schaffer, Reid & Assocs., Inc., 379 So. 2d 633, 637 (Fla. 1980) and Belair v. Drew, 776 So.
2d 1105, 1107 (Fla. 5th DCA 2001).
6 Winfield v. Division of Pari-Mutuel Wagering, Dept. of Bus. Regulation, 477 So. 2d 544, 547 (Fla. 1985).
7 Tinker v. Des Moines Indep. Cmty. Sch. Dist., 393 U.S. 503, 511 (1969).
8 Art. I, s. 23, Fla. Const.
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such protections extend to minors.9 However, the rights to privacy granted to minors do not invalidate a
state’s effort to protect minors from the conduct of others 10 nor do they necessarily override the
fundamental rights of parents related to child rearing.11
Parents’ Bill of Rights
In 2021,12 the legislature created the Parents’ Bill of Rights (PBOR) which enumerates parental rights
with respect to a minor child for education, health care, and criminal justice procedures. 13 The PBOR
expressly prohibits the state, its political subdivisions, any other governmental entities and any other
institutions from infringing upon the fundamental right of a parent to direct the upbringing, education,
health care, and mental health of his or her minor child without demonstrating a compelling state
interest for such actions.14
Additionally, the Legislature found that important information relating to a minor child should not be
withheld, either inadvertently or purposefully, from his or her parent, including information relating to the
minor child’s health, well-being, and education, while the minor child is in the custody of the school
district. Therefore, the PBOR provides for a consistent mechanism for parents to be notified of
information relating to the health and well-being of their minor children.15
Parents’ Rights Related to the Education of their Child
The PBOR enumerates several rights of a parent, such as: 16
The right to direct the education and care of his or her minor child.
The right to direct the upbringing and the moral or religious training of the minor child.
The right to access and review all school records relating to the minor child.
The right to make health care decisions for his or her minor child, unless otherwise prohibited by
The right to access and review all medical records of the minor child, unless prohibited by law or
if the parent is the subject of an investigation of a crime committed against the minor child and a
law enforcement agency or official requests that the information not be released.
The PBOR is not exhaustive but, unless required by law, the rights of a parent of a minor child in
Florida may not be limited or denied.17 To this end, any employee of the state, or any of its political
subdivisions, or any governmental entity may be subject to disciplinary action if they encourage or
coerce a minor child to withhold information from his or her parent. 18
However, the PBOR specifies that it does not:19
Authorize a parent of a minor child in this state to engage in conduct that is unlawful or to abuse
or neglect his or her minor child in violation of general law.
Condone, authorize, approve, or apply to a parental action or decision that would end life.
9 B.B. v. State, 659 So. 2d 256, 258 (Fla. 1995).
10 Id. at 259.
11 Frazier ex rel. Frazier v. Winn, 535 F.3d 1279, 1285 (11th Cir. 2008) (holding that a law requiring a parent’s approval for a student
to refuse to stand during the pledge of allegiance survived a facial challenge as the rights of a parent to raise their child ren would
control in a substantial number of cases). The court did acknowledge that in individual cases, such as those involving mature high
school students, the balance of rights between parents, the school, and the student could favor the student. Id.
12 Chapter 2021-199, L.O.F.
13 Chapter 1014, F.S.
14 Section 1014.03, F.S.
15 See Section 1014.02(1), F.S.
16 Section 1014.04(1), F.S.
17 Section 1014.04(4), F.S.
18 Section 1014.04(3), F.S.
19 Section 1014.04(2), F.S.
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Prohibit a court of competent jurisdiction, law enforcement officer, or employees of a
government agency that is responsible for child welfare from acting in his or her official capacity
within the reasonable and prudent scope of his or her authority.
Prohibit a court of competent jurisdiction from issuing an order that is otherwise permitted by
In addition to the above enumerated rights, the PBOR requires Florida’s school districts to adopt
policies designed to promote parental involvement in the public school system.20 Such policies must
A plan for parental participation in schools to improve parent and teacher cooperation in such
areas as homework, school attendance, and discipline.
A procedure for a parent to learn about his or her child's course of study, including the source of
any supplemental education materials.
Procedures for a parent to object to instructional materials. Such objections may be based on
beliefs regarding morality, sex, and religion or the belief that such materials are harmful.
Procedures for a parent to withdraw his or her student from any portion of the school district's
comprehensive health education that relates to sex education or instruction in acquired immune
deficiency syndrome education or any instruction regarding sexuality if the parent provides a
written objection to his or her child's participation. Such procedures must provide for a parent to
be notified in advance of such course content so that he or she may withdraw his or her student
from those portions of the course.
Procedures for a parent to learn about the nature and purpose of clubs and activities offered at
his or her child's school, including those that are extracurricular or part of the school curriculum.
Parents must be explicitly notified about a number of parental rights and responsibilities set forth in the
education code.22 A school district may comply with these notice requirements by providing information
to parents electronically or by publishing it to its website.23
In 2022, the Legislature further supported the rights of parents to direct the education of their students
by requiring school districts to comply with the following:
adopt procedures for notifying parents if there is a change in the student’s services or
monitoring related to a student’s mental, emotional, or physical health or well-being;
prohibit classroom instruction by school personnel and third parties about sexual orientation or
gender identity in kindergarten through grade 3 or in a manner that is not age-appropriate or
developmentally appropriate for students in accordance with state standards;
notify parents of each health care service available to their student through the school district
and allow parents to consent to, or decline, each service individually; and
provide any questionnaire or health screening form to a parent and obtain permission of the
parent prior to administering it to a student in kindergarten through grade 3. 24
School districts are required to develop a process for parents to notify the school or principal regarding
compliance with these new requirements. Additionally, school districts must adopt policies to notify
parents of these procedures. Parents are required to attempt to resolve any dispute over
implementation of the above requirements with the school district, however, if the concern is not timely
resolved by the district, a parent may seek the appointment of a special magistrate by the Department
of Education or file an action for declaratory judgment and injunctive relief. 25
Instruction Related to Reproductive Health
20 Section 1014.05(1), F.S.
22 Section 1014.05(1)(f), F.S. For example, school districts must provide parents notice about the right to exempt their student from
immunizations, the right to inspect school district instructional materials, and the right to opt out of any school district data collection
not required by law. Id.
23 Section 1014.05(2), F.S.
24 Section 1001.42(8)(c)1.-6., F.S.
25 Section 1001.42(8)(c)7., F.S.
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School districts are required to provide health education instruction to Florida’s students. 26 This
instruction must cover, among other topics, the prevention and control of disease, prevention of child
sexual abuse, exploitation, and human trafficking, teen dating violence and abuse, 27 and the benefits of
sexual abstinence and the consequences of teen pregnancy.28, 29 Additionally, school districts are
authorized to provide instruction in HIV/AIDS as part of their health education programs. 30 School
districts are required to permit parents to exempt their children from instruction related to reproductive
health and any disease, including HIV/AIDS.31
Throughout instruction in acquired immune deficiency syndrome, sexually transmitted diseases, or
health education, when such instruction and course material contains instruction in human sexuality, a
Teach abstinence from sexual activity outside of marriage as the expected standard for all
school-age students while teaching the benefits of monogamous heterosexual marriage.
Emphasize that abstinence from sexual activity is a certain way to avoid out-of-wedlock