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Konni Burton Wants To Force Texas Schools To Out LGBTQ Kids

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Texas State Senator Konni Burton has introduced a bill that would require schools to out LGBTQ kids to their parents. According to the Cut, Burton says a parent is entitled to all of a school’s records about their child’s “general physical, psychological or emotional well-being,” including sexual orientation and gender identity.

On her website, Burton says she filed the bill in response to guidelines to protect trans students that passed in the Fort Worth school district earlier this year. Burton’s website reads:

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“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.”

Let’s take a closer look at Burton’s op-ed. In it, she opposes allowing trans kids to use their chosen pronouns, bathrooms and locker rooms. She writes:

“These new guidelines require the recognition of the preferred gender identity of the student, the use of the pronoun he or she prefers, accommodations for the use of bathroom and locker room facilities and participation in the physical education of their preferred gender identity. These guidelines will affect all students, not just transgender students, and to act as if they do not need public and parental input is quite alarming.”

Some LGBTQ kids aren’t out at home because they do not feel safe with their parents. This bill would put their safety, their wellbeing, their homes, and even their lives in danger. Burton’s bill would also discipline teachers who refuse to comply.

The nonprofit Equality Texas released a statement opposing the bill:

“Until kids are not kicked out of their house for being gay or transgender, and until kids are not being beaten by parents for being gay or transgender, we owe it to kids to protect them. We believe Sen. Burton’s legislation would essentially destroy protected communications between a student and an educator.”

Top photo: Facebook/Konni Burton

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Erika W. Smith is BUST's digital editorial director. You can follow her on Twitter and Instagram @erikawynn and email her at erikawsmith@bust.com.

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