Texas Lawmaker Files Bill That Would Force Teachers To Out LGBT Students To Parents

Texas tea party state Sen. Konni Burton has filed legislation that would effectively require public school employees to out a student they believe to be lesbian, gay, bisexual or transgender, to their parents.

Under Burton’s Senate Bill 242, any school employees who fail to disclose a student’s gender identity or sexual orientation to their parental guardians could face disciplinary action, even if the student requests that the information remain private.

Burton, a Republican from Fort Worth and a staunch Ted Cruz supporter, said on her website Thursday that she drafted the bill in response to transgender guidelines adopted by the Fort Worth school district earlier this year which bars faculty and staff from disclosing a student’s transgender status to parents.

However, the school district was forced to eliminate the prohibition on parental notification thanks to a hateful campaign by Lt. Gov. Dan Patrick

NCRM adds:

If passed, SB 242 would place LGBT youth in the conservative state at risk for abuse, neglect or suicide if their parents aren’t accepting. It could even expose them to the dangerous, discredited practice of “reparative therapy,” which happens to be endorsed in the Texas GOP platform.

Burton, a Patrick ally who also opposed the guidelines, said in response to the Fort Worth controversy, she decided to review state law governing parents’ access to information from public schools.

“We found these provisions in desperate need of clarity and expansion,” Burton wrote. “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.”

“Further,” she added, “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’s bill is just one of dozens of anti-LGBT measures set to go up before the Texas legislature this January, including a bill from fellow tea party Sen. Bob Hall, which would make it easier to discriminate against LGBT Texans.