Sarasota Herald-Tribune Editorial Board | Sarasota Herald-Tribune
In reality there is only one thing to say to the hundreds of Pine View School students who walked out of their high school classes in protest against the odious “Don’t Say Gay” bill now progressing through the Florida Legislature:
The Pine View students’ show of principled and dignified opposition to the “Don’t Say Gay” bill – legislation that is beyond unprincipled and undignified in its clear aim to stigmatize, traumatize and isolate LGBTQ youths across Florida – was inspiring to see.
It was heartening to hear.
It was uplifting to witness.
In case you missed it: House votes to regulate talk of sexual orientation, gender identity in Florida schools
But the heartwarming sense of honor displayed by students who stood up by walking out also raises these troubling questions:
Why is there so little sense of honor in the Florida Legislature that a bill that would openly prevent teachers from discussing gender identity and sexual orientation issues – and effectively intimidate LGBTQ students into remaining silent about them as well – has already won passage in the Florida House and also appears destined to be approved by the Florida Senate?
Why is there so little sense of honor among Florida’s lawmakers that a majority of them still prefer the cowardice of putting the lives of young LGBTQ Floridians in peril over the courage of resolutely standing up to safeguard them?
Why, in short, has it been left up to young kids in a Sarasota County school to show what compassion and concern for others really means – while craven adults in legislative chambers in Tallahassee shamefully continue to reveal just how little they truly respect those values?
The Pine View students who briefly abandoned their classes to take a stand on the “Don’t Say Gay” bill deserve our admiration.
That’s far more than can be said for the Florida lawmakers who have totally abandoned their principles by failing to stand in the way as this contemptible bill marches ever closer to becoming law.