LGBT rights activists in Texas are
warning that a proposed bill could be used to force teachers to out
students to their parents.
State Senator Konni Burton, a
Republican from Fort Worth, filed her bill (SB 242) last week ahead
of the legislative session, which begins in January. Burton's
proposal states that parents have the right to all records and
information related to their child, including “any general
DeAnne Cuellar of Equality Texas, the
state's largest LGBT rights advocate, said the bill would harm LGBT
“This is a violation of personal
privacy and the legislation puts LGBT youth in harm's way,” Cuellar
said. “Teachers can't effectively do their job if they're worried
about being penalized for not outing their students to their parents.
Classrooms have always been a refuge and a safe space for students
to confide in their mentors, their counselors and teachers.”
Burton's chief of staff told the
Chronicle that the bill was a response “to the Fort Worth
school district issuing new guidelines about transgender students”
and their right to privacy.
Educators who fail to comply would be
subject to disciplinary action, the bill warns.