There is another fight brewing in Texas. This one is against LGBT students. State Senator Konni Burton is leading the fight that, if she wins, will do untold harm to hundreds of school children.
A little explanation. The Fort Worth School District adopted a measure that prohibits teachers from telling student’s parents about the child’s sexual orientation without the student’s permission. This has come about because, especially in high school, many students are requesting accommodations based on their gender identity, but haven’t told their parents about their LGBT status.
Naturally sound and reasonable people like Burton and Lt. Gov. Dan Patrick had a fit. So, Burton put forth legislation that requires teachers to tell the parents without the child’s permission. The legislation includes suspension and even termination of any teacher who keeps this confidential.
In her own words, she justifies this bullshit this way:
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.
In case you are wondering what is wrong with this measure, just look at her reason. She says that parents have a right to full and total information including “physical, mental and emotional health”. What does that mean exactly? She is saying that if a child is struggling with their sexual status, they obviously have a mental health issue.
I know a lot of people who are LGBT. One thing they told me that when they were growing up, the hardest part was telling their own parents. They feared backlash, and in some cases, like in a state like Texas, they feared they would be forced to go into “reparative therapy”. The Texas Republican Party has “reparative therapy” as part of their party platform.
Often times a student will tell a teacher first. In most cases, it is a chance to “test float” the idea of coming out. Students have a basic understanding of how a parent will react. They hear their parents discuss homosexual issues from time-to-time, usually in some sick form of a joke.
They look for someone they can trust to first tell to see how an adult would react. That helps them form a plan to actually tell their parents. But, that is not often easy even after they tell a teacher. Parents often react in very different and strange ways.
I know people who have openly said if their child told them they were gay, they would throw them out of the house. There are hundreds of thousands of homeless youths in this country. About 40 percent of them identify as LGBT. That despite the fact that only about 7 percent of the nations youths identify as LGBT.
Kathryn Gonzales, operations and programs director of OutYouth, an Austin-based organization that aims to provide an open and accepting environment for LGBT youth, told The Daily Beast the bill could endanger children:
I think Senator Burton needs to rethink this because she’s going to have a lot of blood on her hands.
That statement is not just hyperbole either. There is a suicide epidemic of teens in our country. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention study on suicide risks for LGBT youth, the suicide rate is four times higher for this demographic and twice as high for children who are questioning their sexual orientation and gender identity.
How many more will hit this awful list once they are forced to confront unaccepting parents with their gender identity because of this law? How many of these teens will be thrown out of the house without any support?
Being a teenager is stressful enough for kids growing up. Coming to the conclusion that you are also LGBT adds to that stress. Especially when that teen is in a household that does not accept LGBT as “normal” but rather some disease that can be cured through things like reparative therapy.
I really do not understand this legislation. I really don’t understand why Burton believes it is her responsibility to force teachers to break confidence with their students just because she thinks so.
There is only one explanation for this useless law. It is just another attempt to force religious beliefs on other people. I can find no reason for such a law except to “shame” the teens for being who they are. She doesn’t think teens have the right to plan their coming out to their parents and be ready for any backlash that may be coming from them.
No, Burton wants to rule over the lives of people. She wants the state to interfere with peoples lives. She doesn’t care about the consequences. She doesn’t care about the real mental health of these teens. She only cares about imposing her rule on everyone else.
Here we have another Republican laying bare the lie about “getting the government out of our lives” and showing that they really want the government to run our lives. This bill will not come before the State Legislature until next year. There is time to fight it and defeat it. But, being it is in Texas, I am not holding my breath.
Looks to me like Texas is trying to become the next Soviet Socialist State. They apparently want to joint North Carolina and Kansas in totally ruling their people. To me, this is nothing short of state sponsored terrorism.
It has already been proven in many places that “reparative therapy” is nothing short of torture.