Texas bill could force teachers to out LGBT students to parents
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Critics of a new law proposed for Texas say it could require school teachers to disclose a student's sexual orientation and gender identity to the student's parents.

The proposed bill, SB 242 was introduced earlier in November by GOP legislator Konni Burton.

It entitles parents to all of their students' person records concerning their "general physical, psychological or emotional well-being," as well as counseling records.


Any teacher or school employee who withheld information upon request would face "discipline."

The one exception spelled out for the disclosure rule is child abuse. 

LGBTQ activists say that the wording isn't specific enough, and that it would force teachers to out a student to their parents and guardians, something that would be a concern for students who have chosen not to come out at home.

Steven M Rudman, chairman of Equality Texas, told CBS News that "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," Rudman added.

According to a report from The Daily Beast, Burton created the bill to counteract a Fort Worth school district guideline which limits parents' access to some information for transgender students. In an op-ed earlier this year, Burton criticized the school district guideline, arguing that "parents, not schools, are the primary decision-makers for their children."

A spokesman for Burton told the Houston Chronicle last week that concern over students being forced into conversion or reparative therapy was "an unfortunate interpretation," of the bill.

Lawmakers will consider the bill during the legislative session that begins Jan. 10.