Posted on August 9, 2023 at 12:00 PM by Sadye Scott-Hainchek

William Shakespeare has fallen victim to Florida's "Don't Say Gay" law. Sort of.

The Associated Press reports that the Hillsborough County Public Schools will now only assign students to read excerpts of Shakespeare's plays, partly because there are puns and innuendo that could land it afoul of the rule forbidding materials that “contain pornography or obscene depictions of sexual conduct.”

Students in the Tampa-area district will still be able to check out the complete plays at their schools' media centers, however.

The Don't Say Gay law was passed in 2022 and applied to younger grades, but a follow-up passed this year expanded its prohibitions on discussing sexual orientation or gender identity in classrooms to other grades.

All that said ... the AP noted that Florida Education Commissioner Manny Diaz included Romeo and Juliet — by William Shakespeare — on his recommended reading list for students.

On a slightly lighter note, a different school district in Florida has reversed its decision to limit access to a children's picture book called And Tango Makes Three (the authors of which joined a student-led lawsuit over its removal).

The Department of Education clarified in a memo last week that state laws didn't prohibit the book from being in the school library.

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Categories: Today in Books

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