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St. Johns County teacher wears 'Protect Trans Kids' shirt, is asked to remove it

Parent called principal to 'express concern'

JACKSONVILLE, Fla. — (The video above is from a previous story.)

After a parent complained, a teacher at Tocoi Creek High School in St. Johns County was asked to remove a T-shirt that read, "Protect Trans Kids," according to school district spokeswoman Christina H. Upchurch. 

The teacher wore the shirt to the school on Tuesday, and a parent sent a picture to Principal Jay Willets "expressing concern," according to Upchurch. 

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Willets "immediately" spoke with the teacher about it and provided another shirt, and the teacher changed shirts, according to Upchurch. No disciplinary action was taken. 

Upchurch provided a portion of the St. Johns County School District's rules for employees. While on duty, at school or on district property, employees are not allowed to wear buttons or apparel "that display a written message of any kind, except for names, logos and slogans related to a District school, the District, or school or District related organizations, events or activities.

"Employees shall not wear apparel with a political logo (elephant, donkey, etc.). However, employees shall have the right to participate in political activities in their individual capacity when they are not scheduled for duty and are not on District property or at a school-sponsored event or activity."

Click here to read more from The Florida Times-Union

Teacher was not disciplined over 'Protect Trans Kids' shirt

The teacher was not available for comment, according to Upchurch. The Record is not naming the teacher because no disciplinary action is being taken. 

On Monday, Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis signed into law new restrictions on discussion of sexual orientation or gender identity in Florida schools, derided by opponents as the “Don’t Say Gay” bill.

The measure drew criticism from the LGBTQ community nationwide, Hollywood and the White House, and even drew walkouts in schools across the state from students concerned about its potential impact.

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The legislation was ridiculed by hosts Wanda Sykes, Amy Schumer and Regina Hall during their opening comments at Sunday night’s 94th Academy Awards.

But DeSantis defended the prohibition Monday as helping parents control their children’s education. The legislation is formally titled Parental Rights in Education.

“We will make sure that parents can send their kids to school to get an education, not an indoctrination,” DeSantis said, in signing the legislation at Classical Preparatory School, where he was joined by several parents and students and Education Commissioner Richard Corcoran.

Thursday was the international Transgender Day of Visibility. Much like the annual Transgender Awareness Week, the day is meant to promote transgender visibility and highlight issues the community faces. Trans advocate Rachel Crandall created the day in 2010 when she saw media stories about the community focused around violence and wanted to shift the conversation to celebrating their lives, according to GLAAD.

David Oliver of USA Today and John Kennedy of the Capital Bureau USA TODAY NETWORK―FLORIDA contributed to this report.

Click here to read more from The Florida Times-Union

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