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HB 1557, incorrectly referred to by activists, media, and liberal politicians as “Don’t say gay,” continues to be the talk of Florida after a gay teacher, during an interview with MSNBC, stated that he was concerned that he would no longer be able to talk to his 5-year-old students about his private life.
HB 1557 forbids controversial topics related to sexual orientation or gender identity from being taught in classrooms to students in kindergarten or early elementary grades (ages 5-9). In this context, Cory Bernaert, a kindergarten teacher, gave his opinion on the law recently signed by Florida Governor Ron DeSantis.
“It hits hard in my heart professionally and personally,” said Bernaert. “Professionally, it truly makes me feel like I am not trusted as a professional. I know my kindergarten standards through and through, and nowhere in our curriculum does it have anything about teaching sexual orientation or sexual identity.”
“We should be able to have discussions and that’s what we’re encouraged to do in kindergarten,” the teacher continued. “My kids do have questions. They want to know who my partner is in pictures outside of my classroom, and I should be able to speak to them.”
The MSNBC host asked the teacher if he was concerned that he’d no longer be able to talk about his personal life, to which Bernaert responded, “You are 100% correct. That’s what we do as educators, we build relationships with our kids. And in order to build relationships, you talk about your home life, you talk about what you do on the weekends.”
“It scares me that I am not going to be able to have these conversations with my children … because they’re going to ask me what I did on the weekend. I don’t want to have to hide that my partner and I went paddleboarding this weekend,” Bernaert further explained.
Harsh criticism against the professor and MSNBC on social networks
The interview went viral and triggered severe criticism, especially for sharing details of his private life with 5-year-old children.
“I’m against the bill, but why is this teacher discussing his kinks with kindergarteners?” tweeted Katie Herzog, host of the Blocked and Reported podcast.
“In all honesty, this is sickening, and MSNBC is sick for attempting to present this as if it is acceptable. I don’t give a damn what you do outside of teaching, but whatever you do, it is YOUR business and not the business of a CHILD. This is going too far, ladies and gentlemen!,” said former congressional candidate, philosopher, and writer Barrington Martin II.
“There’s nothing in the bill that prevents teachers from talking about their private lives, but why the hell do they want so badly to talk to little kids about their private lives anyway? I didn’t know anything about the private lives of any of my teachers. It never came up,” wrote Daily Wire commenter Matt Walsh.
The tweet of Bernaert’s MSNBC interview, shared by Mary Margaret Olohan of the Daily Wire, already has more than a million views and thousands of comments calling for the teacher’s firing. At the same time, there are also complaints against the media for spreading “propaganda” against the law, which has been the subject of disinformation by Democrats and various media outlets.
Emmanuel Alejandro Rondón is a journalist at El American specializing in the areas of American politics and media analysis // Emmanuel Alejandro Rondón es periodista de El American especializado en las áreas de política americana y análisis de medios de comunicación.