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DeSantis seeks information on healthcare for transgender college students

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Republican Florida Governor Ron DeSantis is asking state universities for the number and ages of their students who have sought or received treatment for gender dysphoria, including sex reassignment surgery and drug prescriptions. hormones, according to a survey released Wednesday.

Why he is conducting the investigation was not entirely clear. DeSantis has come under fire from LGBTQ advocates for policies seen as discriminatory, including banning teaching about sexual and gender identity in the early years and making it easier for parents to remove books related to the subject. in public schools.

“We may see cuts to funding for universities to treat students with this disease, and I think a total elimination of services is certainly on the table,” said House Democratic Leader Fentrice Driskell.

The survey was released the same day college presidents voted to support DeSantis’ anti-reawakening agenda and to reject “the progressive higher education indoctrination agenda” and pledge to “remove all the positions and ideologies awakened by February 1, 2023”, according to a press release from the Ministry of Education.

The survey is sent to the presidents of the university’s board of trustees by DeSantis’ budget director, Chris Spencer.

“Our office has learned that several state universities provide services for people with gender dysphoria,” Spencer wrote. “On behalf of the Governor, I hereby request that you respond to the enclosed requests for these services.”

The governor’s office did not respond to emails and a phone call requesting information on the purpose of the investigation, which must be completed by Feb. 10. Spencer told the presidents that the investigation should be completed as part of their obligation to manage institutional resources and protect the public interest.

Driskell said DeSantis is trying to remake the state’s universities “in his image” in terms of what can be taught and how students can be treated.

“I’ve never seen anything like it. It’s a truly terrifying place we find ourselves in Florida history,” Driskell said. “What can happen is a brain drain where we have students from Florida who don’t want to stay here and attend school at our public colleges and universities.”

The survey is similar to the one the governor requires state universities to complete regarding spending on diversity, equity and inclusion and critical race theory programs.

The current memo asks universities to “provide the number of encounters for sex reassignment treatment or where such treatment was sought” as well as data on students referred to other institutions. It says to protect student identities when entering information.

The survey requires a breakdown by age, whether the student is 18 or older, people who have been prescribed hormones or hormone antagonists or who have had a medical procedure such as a mastectomy, breast augmentation or removal and reconstruction of genitals.

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