Erin Brown, a teacher in St. Johns County, Fla., typically keeps a gay pride flag hanging up in her classroom. As the faculty sponsor of a Gay-Straight Alliance club at her high school, she wants her students to know they are safe with her.
But this year, Ms. Brown found herself quietly repurposing the flag.
No longer on full display, it now hangs as a “rainbow background,” partially obscured among posters, photos, a calendar and other trinkets on her class bulletin board.
The change is emblematic of the fear, uncertainty and confusion many educators in Florida say they are feeling this school year, as new laws take effect restricting teaching on gender identity, sexual orientation and race and expanding the oversight of books.