Florida GOP Governor Ron DeSantis, continuing his months-long, fear-based attack on the LGBTQ community, appears to be claiming that elementary school teachers are "instructed" to tell children they they might be transgender, and insisting if anyone dares to disagree with him, they are "lying."
His claim, which appears in a clip posted by The Recount, is drawing massive outrage on social media.
"This will be for elementary school kids, where they're instructed to tell them, 'You may have been born a boy, that may have been what you said, but maybe you're really a girl.' That's wrong. That has no place in school – so that is happening in our country. Anyone that tells you it's not happening is lying to you," DeSantis, talking very fast, says in the video.
"So I think what we did in Florida was very important, we laid down a marker to make sure that that's not something that gained a foothold here, in the state of Florida, and our kids are able to be kids."
DeSantis' claim that "that is happening in our country" has drawn demands he "prove" his claims. The nation wide focus of his claim lines up with DeSantis' expected run for President.
Emmy Award winning producer and author Melissa Jo Peltier tweeted: "By f-ing who, DeSantis? WHO allegedly 'instructs' them to do this? Prove it."
Equality Florida's Press Secretary, Brandon Wolf, on Twitter called DeSantis' comments a "Blatant, bigoted lie.."
A Twitter user whose bio says he is an attorney warns: "Lies like this are going to end up getting teachers killed. But he doesn’t care as long as it helps him win the Iowa Straw poll."
Journalist Parker Molloy succinctly responded, "(This is not happening in our country.)"
Actor, screenwriter, and comedian David Dean Bottrell commented, "This @GOP crew will say absolutely anything. It doesn't matter how idiotic. All it has to do is scare stupid, angry people who are not addicted to rage (because it's all they've got now)."
Dr. Ellen Greaves, an attorney, asks: "How do they have time to come up with the garbage? Imagine what they might accomplish if they dedicated their energy/time to constructive endeavors benefitting all?"
Journalist Terry Blount: "Just an unbelievably absurd statement by this lying phony. Despite Trump’s bluster, this is the likely 2024 Republican presidential nominee. That’s how extremely intolerant and out of touch the party has become."
Other social media responses:
"That’s not happening, and there’s a reason why Florida is over 10,000 teachers short and they are fleeing the state. Because of his outrageous attacks on public schools…and using the most ludicrous and delusional lies to pit parents against public school teachers. Demented."
"What’s insane about this lie is that people believe it"
"Ron DeSantis is the worst kind of lying fear monger. Not only is he a fascistic authoritarian, but his just an awful person."
"This isn’t happening, there is zero evidence this is happening and his source is 'trust me, bro.' Deplorable af."
"They are planning a genocide right before our eyes."