Florida Now Requires Students to Obtain Parental Permission to Use a Nickname in School

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By Giselle Balido

August 8, 2023

The “Parental Authorization for Deviation from Student’s Legal Name Form” asks parents to sign if they agree to allow their child to use a name aside from their legally given name on any campus.

 

Florida students will now be required to obtain parental consent to use a nickname, or any deviation from a student’s legal name in school, due to a new law signed by Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis.

Parents and guardians of Seminole County and Orange County students reported receiving emails detailing the new policy on Tuesday morning, and the rule will soon apply to all Florida school districts.

The “Parental Authorization for Deviation from Student’s Legal Name Form” asks parents to sign if they agree to allow their child to be able to use a name aside from their legally given name on any campus.

 

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This means that if Rebecca prefers to be called “Becky,” she will need her parents to sign a consent form, as demanded by Republican lawmakers and Gov. DeSantis, who, notably, goes by Ron instead of his legal name, Ronald.

The form also applies to transgender students who do not want to use their legal name.

Opponents of the law say it is a continuation of DeSantis’ longstanding war on the LGBTQ community.

Under the law, even if the parent of a transgender student signs the Parental Authorization permission form, school employees can still decline to address the student by the pronouns of their choosing.

 

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Teachers who violate the law’s harsh and convoluted rules could ultimately lose their teaching credentials, which is why school districts are providing guidance that verges on the absurd.

“Orange County Public Schools in Orlando now suggests teachers call students only by their last name to avoid being targeted and decertified by the state for violations of the Don’t Say LGBTQ law,” Carlos Guillermo Smith, a candidate for the Florida Senate wrote in a Tweet. “The absurdity of what DeSantis has done to our public schools is on full display.”

Author

  • Giselle Balido

    Giselle is Floricua's political correspondent. She writes about the economy, environmental and social justice, and all things Latino. A published author, Giselle was born in Havana and grew up in New Jersey and Miami. She is passionate about equality, books, and cats.

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