Texas Attorney General Thinks Teachers Should Be Able to Out Trans Kids to Their Families
In a statement released on Tuesday, Texas Attorney General Ken Paxton made it clear that he's not all that worried about protecting trans students.
In the "non-binding opinion," Paxton said that the Fort Worth school district's new guidelines about trans students, which states that students "may choose whether or not to have their parents participate in this process," would "violate state law" by keeping information from parents, reported The Dallas Morning News.
But the guidelines put forth by the Fort Worth Independent School District — and the stipulation that they can choose whether or not to inform their parents about their gender identity — actually exist to help protect trans students.
A 2010 study from the National Center for Transgender Equality and the National Gay and Lesbian Task Force found that 41% of transgender people in the U.S. had attempted suicide, which was staggering when compared to the 1.6% of the total population that had attempted suicide.
But, according to a study published in February, trans kids who feel accepted by their parents have the same levels of anxiety and depression as their cis peers — which suggests that family support plays a major role when it comes to mental health among trans people. It would make sense then, to allow Fort Worth students to control whether or not they tell their families they're trans — especially if coming out could potentially be dangerous.
But Ken Paxton thinks that allowing children to decide whether or not to come out to their parents is tantamount to giving parents a "subordinate status," the Morning News reported. Paxton also said that the Fort Worth ISD had "violated state law by not bringing the new guidelines to the school board," reported the Morning News.