Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis answers questions from the media in the Florida Cabinet in Tallahassee, Florida, on March 7, 2023.
CNN  — 

The administration of Gov. Ron DeSantis this month quietly proposed extending Florida’s controversial prohibition on classroom instruction related to sexual orientation and gender identity to all grades.

The Florida Department of Education approved the proposed rule on March 9 and it was published in the Florida Administrative Register for review on March 16. The State Board of Education is scheduled to take it up on April 19.

DeSantis last year signed into law a measure that banned such instruction through fourth grade, arguing at the time that young children should not be exposed to concepts like gender identity. The fight over the legislation attracted opposition from across the country, including the White House and Walt Disney Company. In response to Disney’s objections, DeSantis moved to strip the company of its special governing tax district. This year, lawmakers met in special session to give DeSantis power to put his appointees on the board overseeing the Disney district.

The proposed rule change would ban lessons on sexual orientation and gender identity through high school “unless such instruction is either expressly required by state academic standards … or is part of a reproductive health course or health lesson for which a student’s parent has the option to have his or her student not attend.”

Florida lawmakers were already considering legislation to extend the prohibition to eighth grade.