Mar 3, 2022 - News

Thousands of Florida high schoolers protest "Don't Say Gay" bill

Student protesters hold rainbow flags
Hillsborough High School students wave rainbow flags during a walk-out to protest HB 1557. Photo: Ben Montgomery/Axios

Thousands of high school students across Florida walked out of school Thursday to protest the "Don't Say Gay" bill that passed the Senate later in the day and headed to Gov. Ron DeSantis' desk.

  • They carried signs that said "Please say gay" and chanted "Gay lives matter."

Driving the news: Locally, hundreds of students walked out of Hillsborough High and Freedom High in Tampa, Gibbs High in St. Pete, Largo High, and Riverview High in Sarasota.

What they're saying: "There’s no need for this legislation," Hannah Harich, 17, told Axios. She was among several hundred students protesting at Hillsborough High in Tampa. "We're at a point in time when it feels very regressive."

What's happening: HB 1557 would bar educators from speaking to primary school students about certain LGBTQ+ topics that are not considered "age-appropriate or developmentally appropriate for students," among other things.

  • Gov. Ron DeSantis has indicated support for the bill.

Editor's note: This story has been updated to include the result of the Senate vote on the bill.

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