A Missouri state lawmaker is pushing a bill that would make it easy for parents to sue schools if their children are "subjected to" anything LGBTQ.
Rep. Chuck Basye wants parents to have total control over what their children see in school, even if it's not part of the curriculum. The bill is in response to a poster a GSA – gay-straight alliance club – put up without getting approval from all the students' parents.
Basye says the purpose of his legislation "is to give this a little bit of teeth so parents can take action if they feel that they’re not being listened to or their child is subjected to something they don’t agree with,” MissouriNet reports.
“I think the parents have a right to know what is in front of their children in public schools,” Basye told MissouriNet.. “That’s the intent of the bill, nothing more, nothing less.”
The ACLU has weighed in, and says Basye's bill goes too far.
“This is not only way too far reaching, but absolutely censorship of essentially livelihoods and existence at all,” Jay-Marie Hill, with the American Civil Liberties Union of Missouri, told MissouriNet. Hill says if the bill becomes law teachers could be responsible, and even fired, if they have a guest speaker who says something parents might disagree with.
The bill is clearly framed to focus on "instruction on human sexuality and sexually transmitted diseases."
And while it says information presented to students must be "medically and factually accurate," it also mandates that "abstinence from sexual activity as the preferred choice of behavior in relation to all sexual activity for unmarried pupils."
Abstinence only education has been proven to not work.
Some responses to Rep. Basye's bill from social media:
#HB1565 would deem LGBTQ content in our public schools “inappropriate,” allowing for parents to sue schools for inc… https://t.co/TOeOBdcZNf— PROMO Missouri (@PROMO Missouri) 1582644065.0
I also take so much issue with this idea that people would be denied opportunities to learn... I was a part of two… https://t.co/TjmUmNzDL8— Stephen Eisele (@Stephen Eisele) 1582654025.0
I am a cisgender, heterosexual woman and the mom of a (likely) cisgender, heterosexual 5th grader. I want him to ha… https://t.co/v2VlawH9sW— JennyB (@JennyB) 1582645122.0
Rep Baker says it’s the parents right to opt out of anything regarding the LGBT community if they disagree with it.… https://t.co/1GQdf3RxfO— Hannah Brashers (@Hannah Brashers) 1582642932.0