Since Trump’s election, the State of Texas has been busy working on its already anti-gay legislature.
Texas Tea Party lawmaker Sen. Konni Burton just filed a bill so utterly unconstitutional that it’s mindblowing. It shouldn’t get past the house, but this is Texas we are talking about, so you just never know.
Senate Bill 242, as it’s named, requires that teachers and school officials must disclose a student’s personal information to parents, including the student’s sexuality and gender orientation, even if the student personally requests that this information be withheld.
If Sen. Bill 242 is passed, outing a student against their will could be extremely damaging to their psychological well-being. The suicide rate among the LGBTQ community is already high and in a conservative state like Texas, the likelihood of more occurrences is almost guaranteed.
The Texas GOP is known to endorse what they call “reparative therapy,” which is a clever term for what is actually “conversion therapy” or “pray away the gay,” if you will. Students outed by Sen. Bill 242 will run the risk of being forced through one of these harmful therapy practices, which will likely scar them for life.
As an explanation for this bill, Senator Burton released a statement on her website Thursday:
Earlier this year, Fort Worth ISD issued new guidelines for transgender students. If you recall, the guidelines made it acceptable for teachers and staff to withhold personal information about a student from that student’s parents. Furthermore, the manner in which these guidelines came into effect–without a public debate and vote by the school board or even an opportunity for parents to provide input–was also extremely concerning. I wrote an op ed defending the parent’s role in their child’s life and expressing my disappointment Fort Worth ISD would keep information about a student secret rather than communicating openly to the student’s parent.
Because of this, our office reviewed the provisions in state law which guarantee parents access to information in a public school. We found these provisions in desperate need of clarity and expansion. That is why I am planning to file a bill that rewrites these provisions 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.
Burton has yet to comment on her remarks.
This is not the only piece of anti-gay legislation to be filed since Trump’s election. This past Monday, Sen. Bob Hall filed a bill that would allow for the state to remove anti-discrimination ordinances put in place to protect the LGBTQ community.
It’s clear that Trump’s new America is going full speed ahead to adhere to his bigoted platform, and he’s not even in office yet.
Featured image via YouTube