(The Hill) — Florida’s Orange County Public Schools sent out a memo on Monday that says its transgender employees and contractors can’t use the pronouns or bathrooms that match their gender identity due to state law.
The memo discusses House Bill 1069, which focuses on sex defined as an “immutable biological trait” at birth based on hormones and genitalia. Under the law, no one is allowed to be required to use a person’s “preferred personal title or pronoun,” and students are not to be asked for their pronouns.
“The bill states that a transgender employee or contractor may not provide a personal title or pronoun to students which does not correspond the employee’s or contractor’s biological sex at birth,” the Orange County memo states.
The second law mentioned in the memo, House Bill 1521, has to do with what bathroom an individual can use.
Transgender students and employees will have single-stall bathrooms they can use — or they are allowed to use the bathroom that corresponds to their assigned sex at birth, according to the memo.
Both transgender employees and students, Orange County said, would have disciplinary actions taken against them if they use a bathroom that corresponds with their gender identity.
Parents are able to sign forms for a teacher to use a nickname for a student, but an educator can not discuss a child’s pronouns or use a different name without permission.
The district recommends that teachers concerned with legal ramifications call on students by last name.
“This would avoid any issues with pronouns or first names which do not match the biological sex of the child at birth,” the school said in the memo.
Orange County Public Schools is one of the largest school districts in Florida and one of Central Florida’s largest employers with more than 25,000 team members, according to its website.
The memo signals the extent of the myriad of controversial changes the state legislature has made to its education system, from policies on sexual orientation and gender identity to how race is taught in schools.