Texas public schools would have to out LGBTQ students to their parents under a proposed bill that should be set on fire and forgotten about immediately. State Senator Konni Burton introduced the legislation, which is dangerous for queer youth.
Under the proposal, school would be required to provide parents with “any general knowledge regarding the parent’s child possessed by an employee of the district,” as well as records “relating to the child’s general physical, psychological or emotional well-being.”
According to the Houston Chronicle, Burton’s chief of staff says the bill would not force schools to out students. Fact-check: it maybe wouldn’t force schools to out students in ALL cases. According to the Chronicle, the chief of staff emphasized the “bill does not include a duty to report information unless a parent asks for it.”
Burton says she proposed the bill in response to a policy for transgender students adopted by a school district in Fort Worth, Texas. The school district said students can use whatever bathrooms they choose and their gender identity can remain confidential, even from their parents. That didn’t fly very well though (because Texas), and now the district requires schools to out students to their parents if their child needs special accommodations.
Make no mistake: Burton’s legislation is dangerous for LGBTQ students. Gay, lesbian and bisexual youth are more than eight times more likely to attempt suicide if their family rejects them. They’re also nearly six times more likely to report high levels of depression and over three times more likely to use illegal drugs.
If a student doesn’t want their parents to know they’re LGBTQ, they probably have a good reason. Steve Rudner with Equality Texas put it well in an interview with the San Antonio Current.
If your kid is gay, and can tell his teacher, but hasn’t told you, then you are the problem. If a kid can tell a teacher but not their parent, it is a pretty good indication that your child is scared of you and the consequences of telling you, and you are who the kid needs to be protected from.