By Andrea Alvarez

TAMPA, Fla. (CW44 News At 10) – The Florida Senate Education Committee passed a controversial bill Tuesday referred to as the “Don’t Say Gay bill” that would ban conversations about sexual orientation and gender identity in the classroom.

Residents and those opposing the Parental Rights in Education bill are firing back, saying it would limit teachers from answering questions if the topic came up.

“We shouldn’t be here discussing how you will restrict the individual expressions of our children and their families. LGBTQ people are a part of every aspect of our society. And if past SB 1834 will only strengthen our resolve to be seen, heard, and to exist in this universe,” said Florida Resident Zachary Duran. The senate vote came one day after Florida Governor Ron DeSantis called the alleged discussion “inappropriate”.

“We’ve seen instances of students being told by different folks in school, ‘Oh, you know, don’t worry. Don’t pick your gender yet, do all this other stuff. They won’t tell the parents about these discussions that are happening. That is entirely inappropriate,” said Florida Governor Ron DeSantis.

“Across the country, were seeing republican leaders taking actions to regulate what students can or cannot read, what they can or cannot learn, and most troubling, who they can or cannot be,” said White House  Press Secretary Jen Psaki.

President Joe Biden also took to social media adding his administration will continue to fight for the protections and safety of the LGBTQ community.

The Tampa Bay LGBTQ Chamber issued a statement to CW44 news saying “No bill should ignore segments of society and we cannot pretend that one segment does not exist. Bills like this alienate segments of society and will directly affect LGBTQ+ youth suicide rate.”

“This bill is disgusting, effectively pushing LGBTQ kids back into the closets is motivated by a religious minority, subjecting their radical views on everyone else,” Florida resident Devon Grand said. “When it comes down to its schools are and should remain safe places for all and not just a subset of students.”

Several school districts including Sarasota and Hillsborough already have policies allowing the student to choose whom they share their LGBTQ status with.