FL Teacher: New 'Don't Say Gay' Law Means He Can't Talk About His Same-Sex Relationship with 5-Year-Olds


Pity poor Cory Bernaert.

Bernaert is a Florida teacher who appeared on MSNBC Tuesday to discuss the fallout from Florida’s Parental Rights in Education bill — otherwise known as the “Don’t Say Gay” bill despite the fact a) the word “gay” appears nowhere in the legislation and b) it does nothing of the sort. Instead, it prohibits sexual orientation and gender identity instruction for kids in public schools who are in third-grade or under.

Bernaert accidentally admitted this wouldn’t actually affect him, since his kindergarten doesn’t “have anything about teaching sexual orientation or sexual identity.” Thanks for playing, I guess. However, he did say the bill was chilling since it meant he couldn’t tell his class of 5-year-olds about him and his partner going “paddle boarding this weekend.”

(This is the kind of weak excuse for opposing the bill the mainstream media has been presenting — largely because they know that arguing against the legislation on its merits is impossible. Here at The Western Journal, we’ve been highlighting the truth about the Parental Rights in Education bill and why more states need to adopt similar legislation. You can help us bring America the facts by subscribing.)

During the interview with the network the day after Florida GOP Gov. Ron DeSantis signed the bill into law on Monday, Bernaert said it makes him “feel like I am not trusted as a professional.

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“I know my kindergarten standards through and through, and nowhere does it have anything about teaching sexual orientation or sexual identity,” he said.

“So for them to say that that’s happening, that’s kind of crazy.”

This has been said a million times, and it’ll now be a million-plus-one: If it doesn’t ban anything, what’s the big deal? (The answer is that it bans plenty. It just hasn’t happened yet or doesn’t happen in Bernaert’s classroom.)

He went on to say that teachers “should be able to have discussions. That’s what we’re encouraged to do in kindergarten.”

“And then personally, because — my kids do have questions. They wanna know who my partner is and pictures outside of my classroom, and I should be able to speak to that.”

“It scares me to death that I am not going to be able to have these conversations with my children,” he said. “I don’t want to have to hide that my partner and I went paddle-boarding this weekend.”

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Because that’s clearly what kindergarteners are focused on — whether or not their teacher went paddle boarding that weekend and whether or not he did it with someone of the same sex as him.

Let’s be clear about what the law says, firstly: “Classroom instruction by school personnel or third parties on sexual orientation or gender identity may not occur in kindergarten through grade 3 or in a manner that is not age-appropriate or developmentally appropriate for students in accordance with state standards.”

Secondly, I must admit my memories of elementary school are sketchy, but I don’t remember being able to muster even the slightest bit of care about my teachers’ private lives. Furthermore, as an adult and a father now, I can’t possibly imagine the educational value of sharing that you went paddle boarding with your partner on the weekend.

Do you support the Parental Rights in Education bill?

To the extent the Parental Rights in Education bill curtails Cory Bernaert’s right to have paddle boarding discussions with 5-year-olds — and it seems dubious it would do anything of the sort — it only does so to the extent he might want to use the experience as an indoctrination tool for children who couldn’t care less.

And therein lies the real reason the left is freaking out about this. Perhaps the most gullible element of MSNBC’s viewership believes kindergarteners are just so curious about this teacher’s personal life and who he’s sharing it with. The rest know this is about straight-up social inculcation. He practically gives it away, calling them “my children.” You don’t get a say in what he teaches your kids, Florida.

The thing is that parents do get a say — thanks to Gov. DeSantis and the state’s GOP legislature. They’re going to remember that. And, if they saw Cory Bernaert’s spot on MSNBC, they’re also going to remember him unintentionally exposing the truth about why this bill is so necessary.

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C. Douglas Golden is a writer who splits his time between the United States and Southeast Asia. Specializing in political commentary and world affairs, he's written for Conservative Tribune and The Western Journal since 2014.
C. Douglas Golden is a writer who splits his time between the United States and Southeast Asia. Specializing in political commentary and world affairs, he's written for Conservative Tribune and The Western Journal since 2014. Aside from politics, he enjoys spending time with his wife, literature (especially British comic novels and modern Japanese lit), indie rock, coffee, Formula One and football (of both American and world varieties).
Morristown, New Jersey
Catholic University of America
Languages Spoken
English, Spanish
Topics of Expertise
American Politics, World Politics, Culture