Thousands of students across Florida on Thursday walked out of classes to protest Republicans' "Don't Say Gay" bill, hoping to quash the fast-tracked and likely unconstitutional legislation that is supported by GOP Governor Ron DeSantis.
In the state capital of Tallahassee, students waved hand-made signs that read "Protect LGBTQ+ kids," "My existence will not be taboo," "Abolish the Don't Say Gay Bill Now," "Don't Say Gay – Scream It!" and simply, "Say Gay," to show support for their LGBTQ classmates while repeatedly chanting "We say gay."
Equality Florida communications manager Michael Womack notes the protests "are 100% student led. We did not organize them."
Nadine Smith, Equality Florida's executive director tweeted: "The @GOP censorship and intimidation agenda knows no bounds. Books are already being pulled off shelves on Florida schools as @GovRonDeSantis pushes his agenda to muzzle students, erase history, and intimidate teachers, and pummel public schools with lawsuits."
Those students marched to the Capitol building and met with Democratic state Rep. Carlos G. Smith.
Wharton High School in Tampa:
Orlando's Freedom High School:
St. Petersburg's Gibbs High School:
Riverview High School, Riverview Florida:
Activist David Hogg showed his support: