Texas State Representative Konni Burton has proposed Senate Bill 242, a bill that if turned into a law would require Texas schools to out LGBT students to their parents.
Burton’s chief of staff, Elliott Griffin, told the Houston Chronicle that the bill was “written in response to the Fort Worth school district issuing new guidelines about transgender students.” The guidelines in question require Fort Worth schools to recognize students’ gender identities and allow them to use the bathroom of their choice.
Burton wrote an op-ed about these new guidelines, insinuating that Fort Worth’s trans-friendly guidelines take away parental rights to know what’s going on with their children:
“The new guidelines make it plain that parents are on a strictly “need-to-know” basis, and that ‘notifying a parent or guardian carries risks for the student in some cases.’ Yet, within those same guidelines, Fort Worth ISD makes it clear that they can and will share this same private information with a third party without parental consent should they decide it’s in the student’s best interest.”
She added, “The love of a parent is irreplaceable, and those who would treat parents as unessential or potentially harmful are damaging the integrity of American family, which is the cornerstone of our society.”
Though her intentions seem good in the op-ed, Burton fails to realize that not all families or parents support transgender students (or LGB) and that many, especially in the conservative state of Texas, abuse or kick out their children when they find that they identify as LGBTQ.
In response to Fort Worth’s transgender guidelines, Burton created her own bill that would allow parents access to all written records held by a school district regarding their children’s “general physical, psychological or emotional well-being.”
If children seek safety or guidance from their school or their school becomes aware that they are LGBT, then schools would be required to out their students to their parents, according to Burton’s proposed bill.
The New Civil Rights Movement writes about the case: “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.”
Steven M Rudman, chariman of Equality Texas, echoes the words of the New Civil Rights Movement, “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.”
Burton is receiving some backlash to her bill on Twitter. Her tweets claimed that the media reports of her bill were misleading and that only one media outlet had contacted her office about the bill.
— Konni Burton (@KonniBurton) November 18, 2016
This has been refuted by many outlets like Think Progress and Texas LGBT News who claim that they have tried contacting her office but received no response.
The Austin Chronicle reported that “Burton accused of [the New Civil Rights Movement of] being “false” and misleading. (After seeing our tweet calling the proposed bill “anti-trans,” Burton called this Chronicle reporter an “anti-reader” who must think “reading is hard.”)”
Burton’s office have now said that they aren’t taking reporter’s questions but are directing them to her website for any comments. Feel free to add your voice to her comment’s section.
You can sign the petition against Burton’s bill by clicking here.
Or contact her office and share your opinion about the matter:
Bill author Konni Burton’s phone numbers are (512) 463-0110 and (817) 882-8157 https://t.co/9uiqIhS8rd
— LiberalWarOnThanksgi (@NJDG) November 21, 2016