This Second Grader Has More Common Sense Than Ron DeSantis

Apr 05, 22
This Second Grader Has More Common Sense Than Ron DeSantis

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A Florida second-grader with two mommies was coming back from lunch at Sikes Elementary School in Lakeland last week when he overheard two teachers saying the state legislature had just passed the “Don’t Say Gay” bill.

“It’s something they’re not supposed to be talking about because when they’re talking about ‘Don’t Say Gay,’ they’re technically talking about gay,” 8-year-old Sawyer Robbins noted to The Daily Beast on Monday.


The boy understood that the bill to mean this teacher would not be able to discuss a family such as his at school.

“What if someone's parents are gay?” he asked. “You can’t talk about your parents because they’re gay.”

The news regarding the bill triggered a recent memory.

“The first thing I thought of was something that happened not long ago,” he said. “I was telling my friend about my parents before this was a thing and he didn’t know what lesbian meant. So I told him what it meant. I told him, ’It means when a girl marries a girl.’ He said, ‘That's weird.’ I said, ‘It’s not their fault they fall in love.’”

He added, “But now if [a friend] doesn't know what it is, I can’t tell him. I can’t even have the same conversation we were having because [of] the Don’t Say Gay bill.”

Sawyer offered his considered opinion of the legislation that Gov. Ron DeSantis has since signed into law.

“It’s stupid,” he said. “It needs to go away because people might feel left out and might feel really sad and stuff. Everybody should be able to love everybody and be able to talk about it in school.”

As Sawyer understands the law, even a good-hearted teacher who notes a student is feeling excluded will not be able to say anything.

“Because it’s a rule,” Sawyer said,

He was speaking to The Daily Beast in the presence of one of his two moms, Kallie Robbins. She recognized the irony in the way her son learned that the Republican majority had passed a measure barring instruction and effectively any teacher-led discussion regarding gender and sexuality between kindergarten and third grade.

Kallie recalled that Sawyer had been incredulous when he came out of Sikes elementary last week.

“Did it really pass?” he asked.

“Yep, it did,” Kallie recalled telling him.

“I can't believe it,” Sawyer said by her recollection.

“I really hoped it wouldn't,” she told him. “But it's Florida, so I didn't have a whole lot of hope.”

The conversation between Sawyer and Kallie continued over the next few days. She said the bill had prematurely opened her son’s eyes to homophobia and making other people feel different.

“It breaks my heart,” Kallie said.

Gender and sexuality had been made a much bigger issue than it otherwise would have been at that age.

“Before, it was, ‘Oh, my moms are gay’ and that was it,” Kallie recalled. “But now he has all these racing thoughts, like, ‘Are my moms going to hell?’ He's straight up asking me, ‘So are you going to hell?’ I'm like, ‘I’m driving a minivan there… but for many different reasons.’”

She recalled a time nearly a decade ago when her older son, John, now 14, came home with something he had learned outside of class.

“One day, I think it was first grade, he's like, ‘Mom, did you know boys can marry boys? And that means they're gay,” she remembered. “And I was like, ‘Dude, how many moms do you have?’ And he's ‘Like, well two.’ And I'm like, ‘So your mom married your other mom. That means we're gay, too.’ And he's like, ‘What?’”

Since then, she has been more open with all five of her children, who also include 10-year-old Charlotte, 6-year-old Harry, and 4-year-old Henry.

“I've been honest with my kids,’ she said. “Like when they start school, I say, ‘You know, there's gonna be people who are gonna ask questions about you having two moms and that's okay. You can tell 'em about us. And you know, there's people who don't understand it. And there's gonna be people who don't like it… And all we can do is rise above it. We can be better and show them, you know, we're not that different. Our family is like their family.’”

She added, “We'll have play dates and the kid will ask, ‘Why do you guys have two moms?’ And I simply tell them, ‘You know, every family’s different. Some families have mom and dad, some families just have moms, some families just have dads and some people have two moms and two dads. It's just families.’ I've never had a kid get like uneasy or anything. They just say ‘Okay,’ and run off and play. Why can't we just leave it at that? Because kids, they’re born to love. They don't just come out and hate gay people.”

As huge Disney fans, the family is heartened by the stand the company eventually took against the new law. Sawyer’s favorite part of Disney World is Tomorrowland, and he foresees a bright future.

“I think it's gonna be really cool,” he said. “We'll probably have like hoverboards and there’s definitely going to be new tallest building.”

He suggested that the Florida of the future might come to its senses and reconsider the “Don’t Say Gay” law.

“And get rid of it,” he said.

He agreed when a reporter suggested that the bill is a step backwards.

“It's kinda like how everyone got racist again,” Sawyer said.

A measure of the present as determined by the new law came from another of Kallie’s kids when she picked them up at school on Monday. Charlotte overheard Kallie telling Sawyer that a reporter was going to interview him about the law.

“She pitched in with her two cents. “ Kallie reported. “She was telling how her teacher told them gay only means happy now.”

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