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The House is expected to vote Thursday on a bill critics worry could harm LGBTQ kids

Flags wave above the dome of Florida's historic Capitol building.
Craige Moore
WFSU Public Media
Lawmakers are scheduled to vote Thursday on the so-called "Don't say Gay" bill.

The so-called "Don't Say Gay" bill is scheduled for a full vote in the House Thursday.

Just before the measure had its first hearing on the House floor Tuesday, the bill's sponsor scrapped a controversial amendment critics called a "state-mandated outing of LGBTQ students."

The amendment by Rep. Joe Harding (R-Williston) would have required school principals to notify parents within six weeks if their LGBTQ child came out at school.

Even without the amendment Democratic lawmakers still expressed several concerns over the measure Tuesday.

Harding’s bill regulates class discussions about gender identity and sexual orientation and would rely on state standards to determine whether those discussions are age appropriate. The bill also paves the way for parents to sue the school districts.

Rep. Carlos Guillermo Smith (D-Orlando) says he believes the bill is a personal attack on LGBTQ youth in Florida.

“It puts children in harm's way. It results in the erasure of LGBTQ students, families and history in our schools," Guillermo Smith says.

The House did pass a different amendment from Harding. It sets up a process for parents to address complaints—either through a special magistrate or through the courts. 

Sarah Mueller is a journalist who has worked for media outlets in several states since 2010. She earned her bachelor’s degree in journalism in 2010 and worked as a print reporter covering local government and politics.