A Florida father is suing his son’s school district after two LGBTQ Pride flags were hung in one of the seventh-grade child’s classrooms, alleging that the school district violated the state’s “Parents Bill of Rights,” a new Florida education law banning classroom discussions of sexual orientation or gender identity.
The father, Francisco Deliu of West Palm Beach, Fla., in a complaint filed earlier this month claims his 12-year-old son’s computer science teacher, Rachel Raos, tried to “indoctrinate” her students at Emerald Cove Middle School by displaying LGBTQ Pride flags and promoting “homosexual lifestyles.”
The Oct. 12 complaint names Raos, Emerald Cove Principal Dr. Eugina Smith-Freeman and the Palm Beach County school board as defendants.
According to the complaint, Deliu’s son on Sept. 16 told his parents that Raos had hung two rainbow Pride flags in her classroom and attempted to impose her own belief system on her students by using a search engine to find websites about LGBTQ identities and issues.
Deliu in the lawsuit condemned Raos’ actions, which he said do not align with his family’s Christian-Orthodox faith, which considers homosexuality to be a sin.
“I felt that was improper because I don’t send my child to that school to be taught homosexuality and taught gay pride,” Deliu told NBC-affiliate WPTV in West Palm Beach this week. “I thought we sent children to school to learn reading, writing, and arithmetic.”
The Hill has reached out to the Palm Beach County school district for comment. In a statement to Fox News, the district said it “does not typically comment on pending litigation, however, we look forward to the facts in this case unfolding during the process.”
Deliu’s argument echoes those made by dozens of state GOP political leaders this year while a controversial education bill – known to its critics as the “Don’t Say Gay” bill – moved through the Florida legislature.
The bill, which was signed into law by Gov. Ron DeSantis (R) in March and officially took effect in July, prohibits kindergarten through third grade teachers from engaging in classroom instruction related to sexual orientation or gender identity.
The law bars public school educators through high school from addressing either topic in a manner that is not “age appropriate” for their students, and parents under the new law have the authority to sue school districts they believe to be in violation.
Deliu in his lawsuit accused Raos and Emerald Cove of attempting to “mold his child’s mind without his consent.” His son has been removed from Raos’ computer science class, according to the complaint, and placed in an art class, which Deliu claims is hindering his son’s education and professional aspirations.
Deliu told WPTV that he intends to amend his lawsuit to include another of his son’s teachers who hung a Pride flag in their classroom. His son has also been removed from that class, according to WPTV.
According to the complaint, Deliu “wishes to teach his child about homosexual lifestyle choices not in the public school system but instead at home.”
Deliu argues that he is guaranteed that right under Florida’s “Parent’s Bill of Rights,” established under a law passed last year that gives parents the right to direct the education of their minor children, as well as their “moral or religious training.”
Deliu is seeking a jury trial and is asking the court to declare Raos’ attempt to “proselytize” students at Emerald Cove illegal. He is also seeking a written apology from Raos and Smith-Freeman to be published on the school district’s website.
A hearing is scheduled for Nov. 1.