Over the last month, Florida governor Ron DeSantis and his like-minded legislature have escalated a feud with the Walt Disney Company. Last week, the state stripped Disney of its unique land privileges and tax advantages. What began over a contested Florida’s Parental Rights in Education law has grown into a cautionary tale in corporate woke.

The law prohibits sexual orientation and gender identity lessons in kindergarten through third grade and — this feature has been far less publicized — forbids school personnel from concealing “healthcare services” for older kids from their parents. Dubbed the “Don’t Say...

Over the last month, Florida governor Ron DeSantis and his like-minded legislature have escalated a feud with the Walt Disney Company. Last week, the state stripped Disney of its unique land privileges and tax advantages. What began over a contested Florida’s Parental Rights in Education law has grown into a cautionary tale in corporate woke.

The law prohibits sexual orientation and gender identity lessons in kindergarten through third grade and — this feature has been far less publicized — forbids school personnel from concealing “healthcare services” for older kids from their parents. Dubbed the “Don’t Say Gay” bill by media partisans, the law has become a parents’ rights lightning rod.

Pressured by the Human Rights Campaign and woke employees, unable to dodge the issue, Disney chief executive Bob Chapek unwisely capitulated to the activists: “It is clear that this is not just an issue about a bill in Florida, but instead yet another challenge to basic human rights.”

“You needed me to be a stronger ally in the fight for equal rights and I let you down. I am sorry,” he added. “We are increasing our support for advocacy groups to combat similar legislation in other states.” The president of Disney’s General Entertainment Karey Burke, in charge of content, has announced that upcoming projects will feature 50 percent LGBTQIA and racial minorities characters.

For those raised on a different, sunnier, apolitical Disney, and attached to its characters and magic kingdoms, these new corporate obligations feel like a betrayal or a double cross.

As it happens, the Biden White House also “condemns the proliferation of dangerous anti-transgender legislative attacks” and endorses “gender-affirming care” for children and adolescents. For progressives, “gender-affirming care,” the current term of art for altering sex with puberty blockers, hormones, and surgery, has become a hill to die on.

“The political games and harsh and cruel attempts at laws, or laws that we’re seeing in some states like Florida, that is not a reflection of the country,” wept press secretary Jen Psaki. In fact, limiting the LGBT blitzkrieg in schools has vast popular traction and resonance.

Sex education is a perennially controversial “health” subject. If schools are stuck with state-mandated curricula, public disagreements over content, latitude, and candor are inevitable. “The degree and kind of a man’s sexuality reach up into the ultimate pinnacle of his spirit,” Friedrich Nietzsche once said, and this is never so true as in adolescence and young adulthood (and not so true in first grade). There is nothing more human than sexuality, and each era and culture makes elaborate judgments about what is permitted and taboo.

If anything, misguided emphasis by adults on genital sex in elementary schools is confusing and invasive to children. Especially in public places like the classroom, where kids are ever vigilant for teacher and peer approval, violations of privacy and ridicule can be scarring, humiliating, and contemptuous of home-held values.

Private schools can and typically do minimize “health” and “emotional” lessons. They explain the mechanics of reproduction in science and biology courses, leaving the rest to parents and their agents, instructional media, and precocious classmates. To be sure, many tony prep schools are right now pursuing queer voices and gender rapture, but that is very new, less than a decade old, and is mainly style and live-action roleplaying.

Even the most levelheaded teachers are under great pressure to accept every family, child and lifestyle uncritically. As a result, educators and school boards speak in neutral, stilted, legalistic ways that will hold up in court. They learn to identify and object to all impositions of “cultural superiority.” Moral education, they say, is “fighting racism” or “respecting differences.”

Yet sex radicals and sympathetic educators welcome conflict, claiming trauma to silence their critics. San Francisco’s LGBT+ coalition and its allies dominate the district’s official order of business.

The view that families, clergy, and non-school agencies should monitor juvenile sexuality is not what guidance counselors, psychologists, emotional fitness advisers, nutritionists, and self-esteem facilitators want to hear. The American Alliance for Health, Physical Education, Recreation and Dance, National Association of School Nurses, and the National Wellness Institute — “A society that truly applies a wellness approach as a pathway to optimal living is by nature inclusive and multicultural” ­— have vocational and financial interests in current therapies and elixirs, however lame or toxic.

The Sex Information and Education Council (SEICUS) — the longtime teen contraception, abortion and AIDS “awareness” advocacy — pushes Sex Ed for Social Change, “working to dismantle the systems of power and oppression which perpetuate disparate sexual and reproductive health outcomes and incubate stigma and shame around sex and sexuality across the intersections of age, race, size, gender, gender identity and expression, class, sexual orientation, and ability.”

Corporations like Disney add to the problem when key employees demand their company ventilate contested political views, and in Disney’s case, positions at odds with its entertainment business, audience preferences, shareholder interests, and a venerable brand.

In not caving to Disney’s dicta, in standing up for beleaguered parents — as did Glenn Youngkin in Virginia — DeSantis demonstrates incisive political instincts. This is not the first time. He got it right on masking, leaving the Covid tyrants sputtering at his composure.

Withdrawing special privileges to compel a uniquely influential corporation to cease and desist its political meddling is a bold strategy. DeSantis is well aware that his move invites judicial review of state power. (A Harvard Law School grad and military lawyer in Iraq, he was briefly a high school history teacher.)

Disney is not going to pick up its vast real-estate holdings and move. According to the New York Times, it can apply to reestablish its special designation. Does the company have the capacity to acknowledge its excesses? So far, Disney’s unhappy position provides an object lesson in the perils of woke capitalism.

Whatever the outcome, DeSantis can rest secure that parents nationwide support his resolve, and unlike the Biden administration, see “gender-affirming care” as a crime against children and nature.