Meet the Texas Lawmaker Who Wants Schools to Out LGBT Students

Middle school and high school is tough enough for closeted LGBT students, but one Texas lawmaker is seeking to potentially ruin the lives of gay, lesbian and trans public school kids.

Under SB 242—filed in the Texas legislature by state Sen. Konni Burton—parents would be entitled to “any general knowledge regarding the parent’s child possessed by an employee of the district,” including written records relating to the student’s “physical, psychological or emotional well-being.”

That means teachers who know about and fail to disclose a student’s sexual orientation or gender identity to his or her parents (regardless of whether the student would like them to say nothing) could be disciplined.

And let’s not forget this is Texas, where students (already living in a conservative environment) could be forced by parents to undergo conversion therapy, which The New Civil Rights Movement points out is wholeheartedly endorsed in the Texas GOP platform. That’s in addition to the potential threat of violence or abandonment facing a student once the parents discover their child’s orientation or identity.

Burton, who herself resides in Fort Worth, Texas, says she drafted the bill as a response to trans guidelines that were adopted by the Fort Worth School District earlier this year. She has said she wants to “make it unequivocally clear that a parent has a right to full and total information on their child’s academic performance, physical, mental and emotional health, and more. Further, my legislation will make it expressly against state law for a district to adopt policies designed to undermine a parent’s right to know. No parent in Texas should ever have to fight for the basic right to matter in their child’s life again.”

 

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