Tennessee Bill Proposes Mandatory Reporting of Transgender Students to Parents

Tennessee Bill Proposes Mandatory Reporting of Transgender Students to Parents

Tennessee would become one of the states where teachers have to tell the parents of transgender kids that they are in the school. This is because of a bill that is moving forward in the Republican-controlled Legislature.

Monday, GOP House members gave the bill almost final approval. This means that Tennessee is now only a few steps away from passing similar laws to Alabama, Arizona, Arkansas, Idaho, Indiana, and North Carolina. Virginia also has rules like these for school boards. The Senate already passed a form of the bill, but it needs to be voted on again before it can be sent to Gov. Bill Lee to be signed.

The bill is moving forward at a time when Republican lawmakers in Tennessee have made the state one of the most eager to pass policies aimed at the LGBTQ+ community as Republicans work on legislation across the country.

Democrats took turns saying that their Republican colleagues were always coming up with new ways to bully LGBTQ+ kids during Monday’s short but heated hearing on the House floor. Dem. Aftyn Behn said, “These are the most at-risk kids in our state who are just trying to make it out of middle school alive.” “And instead of passing bills that help Tennesseans, we are using their identities as weapons.”

People in the public gallery let out audible gasps when Republican Rep. Mary Littleton, who sponsored the bill, said that parents needed to be able to tell if their child would need therapy.

“I believe the parents have the right to know what is going on at school with their kids,” Littleton said. “I also believe that they might be able to get that child therapy to help them work through their issues and do well in school.” Littleton also confirmed that she had not talked to any transgender kids before bringing up the idea. However, she did say that some teachers had told her that they did not want the responsibility of knowing such things.

According to the law that was passed on Monday, school staff would have to give information about a student to a supervisor, who would then have to tell the parent. One example of this is a student asking to change their name or title to show their gender identity.

Parents or the state’s attorney general could sue the school district if they thought it wasn’t following the new law, though.

The plan is one of many that have been made over the years to hurt the LGBTQ+ group.

Early this year, Republicans in Tennessee passed a law that lets LGBTQ+ foster children live with families who don’t support LGBTQ+ rights. Last week, Gov. Lee signed the bill into law. Adults who help children get gender-affirming care without parental permission are still being thought about as criminal acts by lawmakers.

At the same time, Republicans in Tennessee have banned gender-affirming care for most minors, tried to limit events where certain drag artists can perform, and let LGBTQ+ children live with families who don’t support them, but they aren’t required to.

Teachers who don’t use a transgender student’s preferred pronoun are already protected by the law in schools. However, transgender athletes are limited and students can’t use bathrooms that match their gender identity. Parents can also choose not to have conversations about gender and sexuality with their children in school.

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