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School starts this week for some Florida students. Here's more about the new rules in effect

Sign on the lawn says: Welcome back to the Lake, where Eagles soar
Pinellas County Public Schools
Students in Pinellas County and across Florida returned to school on Aug. 10, 2023.

Many of the new rules are a result of the expansion of the state "Parental Rights in Education" law.

School started Thursday for some students in Florida and across the greater Tampa Bay region.

And with the new school year comes new rules and laws that will impact both students and teachers.

Along with the ongoing consideration of what instructional materials teachers will use in light of book bans in the various school districts, the rules include restrictions on the use of pronouns and bathroom use.

Here's a quick breakdown of some of the new rules in effect:

  • The expansion of the Parental Rights in Education law, or what critics call "Don't Say Gay," means that some changes are in effect this school year.
  • K-12 students will be required to use bathrooms and pronouns that align with the gender they were assigned at birth.

RELATED: Florida lawmakers pass a transgender bathroom bill

  • Parents will have to sign a consent form before their child can be called by a name other than the one on their birth certificate — even if it's a common nickname.

RELATED: Florida schools roll out consent forms for student nicknames

  • Teachers won’t be able to discuss gender and sexuality in class, and parents will be able to opt kids out of sex education, and more easily challenge books.

Also, Advanced Placement African American History has been banned outright in Florida, and last week, the College Board put out a statement saying the Florida Department of Education had effectively banned AP Psychology in the state because of content relating to gender and sexuality.

The FDOE reversed its decision after the College Board said the course would no longer count for college credit without that unit.

Some school districts are requiring parental permission to take the course, other say they will offer adapted versions of the curriculum that align with state laws.

Public universities and colleges also won't be able to fund Diversity, Equity and Inclusion (DEI) initiatives.

I took my first photography class when I was 11. My stepmom begged a local group to let me into the adults-only class, and armed with a 35 mm disposable camera, I started my journey toward multimedia journalism.