US education secretary tells LGBT+ kids in Florida: ‘We’ve got your back’

US education secretary Miguel Cardona

US education secretary Miguel Cardona called LGBT+ kids in Florida and their families to say he “has their back”.

Florida’s hateful ‘Don’t Say Gay’ bill, which has passed through the state senate and is headed to the desk of governor Ron DeSantis, will ban the discussion of LGBT+ topics in classrooms.

DeSantis is in full support of the bill, and is expected to sign it, but Joe Biden’s administration has been vocal in its opposition to ‘Don’t Say Gay’.

In a private virtual roundtable with LGBT+ Florida kids and their families, Cardona was joined by assistant secretary of health Dr Rachel Levine, the country’s first openly trans federal official approved by the Senate, and the pair promised their unwavering support.

The two Biden administration officials discussed with the children and their families the resources that would be available to them, and Cardona later said in a statement: “Laws around the country, including in Florida, have targeted and sought to bully some of our most vulnerable students and families and create division in our schools.

“My message to you is that this administration won’t stand for bullying or discrimination of any kind, and we will use our authorities to protect, support, and provide opportunities for LGBTQI+ students and all students.”

Jennifer Solomon, the parent of a lesbian daughter and a gender non-conforming 11-year-old in Miami-Dade County, Florida, told The Independent: “I wish our governor was as supportive as our secretary of education. He has our back.

“He’s going to do everything he can from the federal level to make sure that our kids are still going to be protected and respected.”

Florida high school student Madeline Kopka, 18, also joined the call, and said Cardona was adamant that “he hates the bill that passed this past session and he will fight with us”.

Levine shared mental health resources with the LGBT+ kids and their families and, according to ABC Newssaid in a statement: “We need to support LGBTQI+ youth, their parents and families to help them achieve the good health and quality care they deserve.

“Our communities have a champion in president Biden. The president supports equality and works to ensure everyone is represented. And that gives people a voice, a chance to effect change, to help people understand the diverse needs of our nation.”