Imagine you're a high school freshman English teacher and your best student from last year confides in you their biggest secret: they are transgender, and no one, not even their parents know. If you're a teacher in Alabama you would be legally required to tell that child's parents, if a bill that's already passed the Senate becomes law.
SB184 is expected to be taken up in the House this week. The bill passed the Senate by a very strong 24-6 margin. Republican Governor Kay Ivey would likely sign it into law. GLAAD says the bill "is considered one of the most aggressive anti-trans bills in the country, according to Chase Strangio, a staff attorney for ACLU and transgender rights activist."
The primary focus of the "Alabama Vulnerable Child Compassion and Protection Act" is to "make gender-affirming treatment for transgender adolescents up to age 19 a felony," according to The Advocate. Anyone convicted under this legislation could be jailed for up to 10 years and forced to pay a $15,000 fine. It is sponsored by Republican Senators Shay Shelnutt and Gerald Allen (photo.)
The text of the bill is identical in many parts to one that failed to pass in North Carolina last year.
Here's the language from the Alabama bill that forces teachers to out trans students:
"No nurse, counselor, teacher, principal, or other administrative official at a public or private school attended by a minor shall...[w]ithhold from a minor's parent or legal guardian information related to a minor's perception that his or her gender or sex is inconsistent with his or her sex."
The bill also makes it illegal for teachers or other school officials to encourage a trans student to withhold that information from their parents.
There is no language in the bill that offers these vulnerable children any protection from parents who might kick them out of the house if they are outed as transgender, or put them in harm's way.