May 6, 2024 - Education

Ziegler says Sarasota schools should reject new Title IX LGBTQ+ protections

Illustration of the shadow of Florida on a pattern of Roman numeral IXes.

Illustration: Brendan Lynch/Axios

Embattled Sarasota School Board member Bridget Ziegler plans to urge colleagues to challenge Title IX LGBTQ+ protections at Tuesday night's meeting.

Why it matters: Ziegler — the co-founder of Moms for Liberty and wife of former Florida GOP chair Christian Ziegler — is calling on the district to back Gov. Ron DeSantis' assertion that Florida's schools "will not comply" with the pending federal revisions.

  • Rejecting the guidelines, which take effect on Aug. 1 and add protections from discrimination based on sexual orientation or gender identity, could threaten the millions of dollars Florida's schools receive annually.

Between the lines: If Ziegler's resolution succeeds, it would signal renewed momentum for DeSantis administration-backed policies resisting LGBTQ+ representation, which stalled at the Legislature this year amid his failed presidential campaign.

  • It would also reassert the power Ziegler had when DeSantis endorsed her run for school board last fall before a scandal marred her standing as a rising GOP star.

Catch up quick: The three other school board members voted for Ziegler to step down in December after her husband was accused of sexual battery by a woman who said she'd had a sexual relationship with both Zieglers.

What they're saying: In a recent memo to district superintendents, Florida Education Commissioner Manny Díaz Jr. said schools should not make changes in response to the new Title IX revisions.

  • Díaz claimed the updates "violate various federal and state laws," including the state's Parental Rights in Education Act, dubbed "Don't Say Gay" by critics.
avatar

Get more local stories in your inbox with Axios Tampa Bay.

🌱

Support local journalism by becoming a member.

Learn more

More Tampa Bay stories

No stories could be found

Tampa Baypostcard

Get a free daily digest of the most important news in your backyard with Axios Tampa Bay.

🌱

Support local journalism by becoming a member.

Learn more