Education Commissioner Manny Diaz Jr. Blasts ‘Media Hysteria’ Over Parents Raising Children As They Choose

September 22, 2022 Updated 4:04 PM ET

State Sen. Manny Diaz Jr. attends Miami Dade College Medical Campus roundtable (12/13/21)
State Sen. Manny Diaz Jr. attends Miami Dade College Medical Campus roundtable (12/13/21)

TALLAHASSEE (FLV) – Florida Education Commissioner Manny Diaz Jr. is blasting the “media hysteria” over parents raising their children as they best see fit, calling it “embarrassing” and “shameful.”

Diaz Jr. responded to the author of the Tallahassee Democrat’s article who said “scores of Florida parents don’t feel represented by the ‘parental rights’ movement led by Moms for Liberty, DeSantis and others.”

“Nowhere in this hit piece does it mention that Florida’s focus on parental rights is supported by parents across all political parties and demographics,” Diaz said.

They say, “Many Florida parents feel compelled to stand up against what they see as dehumanizing, inaccurate rhetoric around public schools and teachers, driven largely by conservative group Moms for Liberty.”

The report goes on to say that progressive parents are now mobilizing and forming groups to “show school district leaders that there are scores of parents who don’t feel represented in the conversation.”

According to a poll conducted by New York Times / Siena College, a supermajority of American registered voters support provisions present in Florida’s Parental Rights in Education Act, falsely dubbed the “Don’t Say Gay Bill” by activists.

The poll of 1,399 registered voters was conducted from Sep. 6-14, 2022.

The law prohibits teachers in grades K-3 from instructing students on sexual orientation or gender identity. According to the new poll, a strong supermajority of American registered voters agree with that provision.

On the topic, respondents were asked the following questions:

Do you support or oppose allowing public school teachers to provide classroom instruction on sexual orientation and gender identity to children in Elementary school (grades 1 to 5)?
Results: 70% oppose, 27% support

Do you support or oppose allowing public school teachers to provide classroom instruction on sexual orientation and gender identity to children in Middle school or junior high school (grades 6 to 8)?

Results: 54% oppose, 44% support

HB 1557 was signed by Gov. Ron DeSantis in March.

Prior polls also found majorities of Americans agreeing with the provisions. In May, a Fox poll found 55% support those kinds of provisions.

Diaz Jr. has previously made headlines for saying the National Education Association will not “radicalize” Florida students after the group proposed to change the term “mother” to “birthing parents.”

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