From a baffling bill proposed by Tea Party Republican, Konni Burton S.B. 242, teachers may be forced to OUT students to other faculty, administration, and parents, even if that student asks that their sexual identity be kept secret. The bill would threaten teachers with suspension without pay, or even termination if they refuse to inform parents of their students requests for accommodations related to LGBTQ+, gender, or identity.
Burton claims that S.B. 242 only adds to existing Texas laws, but the bill clearly states that teachers who do not disclose their students private sexual orientation, are violating the law. There is no such law dealing with sexual orientation in Texas, it is confusing why legislators fall back on the “Updating current law” argument when creating new — possibly harmful — legislation.
As reported to TheDailyBeast, LGBTQ+ groups in Texas are rightly furious.
“We feel it to be very harmful to students. If they have not come out at home, there is a reason for that. It may be unjustified, but even in their minds, they’re not comfortable yet with their parents,” – Sandra Howe, Dallas Chapter, PFLAG
LGBTQ+ Rights groups are planning on speaking to legislators against the bill, which will be voted on in next years session March 20. “I’m trying to understand where they’re coming from for this, saying it’s the parent’s right to know what’s inside the child’s heart… I’m not sure that’s the right of the school to do something like that,” Howe said.
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