A new anti-bullying program in Florida sounds so good on paper. The first of its kind in the nation, it gives public money to kids who have been victims of bullying and helps them attend private school. Florida Gov. Rick Scott (R) touted it as an example of government stepping in to do good.
“Every child in Florida should have the opportunity to get a great education at the school of their choice so they can achieve their dreams,” Scott said in March upon signing the bill into law.
“Every child in Florida should have the opportunity to get a great education at the school of their choice so they can achieve their dreams,” Scott said while signing the bill into law in March. Sadly, an analysis by The Huffington Post, has found a major discriminatory issue with the bill.
Under Florida’s Hope Scholarship Program, students can report instances of bullying and receive the money needed to attend a private institution. Sadly, many of the school’s who have signed onto the program don’t accept members of the LGBTQ community or punish student’s who are in a same-sex relationship.
HuffPost obtained copies of “student handbooks and mission statements” from schools participating in the program.
“As of Aug. 1, 2018, nearly 70 schools had signed up to participate in the program, although the organization granting the scholarships says it expects more schools to do so over the course of the next few months… Of these schools, at least 10 percent have zero-tolerance policies for LGBTQ students,” Rebecca Klein at HuffPo writes.
Some of the language used in the handbooks is direct: “Any action involving pornography or homosexuality.” Another handbook reads, “Homosexuality is likewise denounced and is called an abomination to God.”