"Parents or legal guardians of students" [who receive counseling for] "engaging in, or who may be at risk of engaging in, behavior injurious to the physical or mental health and wellbeing of the student or another person"... "shall be notified as soon as practicable that such counseling has occurred."And:
"Parents or legal guardians of such students shall be notified as soon as practicable of the circumstances requiring intervention" [for] "a student whose circumstances present immediate and urgent safety issues involving human sexuality."The American Civil Liberties Union (ACLU) responded to this proposed legislation with an entry on its national blog entitled "Bill Would Threaten Free Speech and Place LGBT Students at Risk." The ACLU contends that the legislation "places LGBT students at risk and limits teachers' and counselors' free speech." Referring to the bill as the "Don’t Say Gay" bill, the ACLU also suggests the bill is discriminatory and will hamper anti-bullying efforts.
However, the main targets of the ACLU are the very parents of the kindergarten through eighth grade students whose rights this bill seeks to protect. Executive director of the ACLU of Tennessee, Hedy Weinberg, unleashed this torrent of vitriol:
[I]t’s inexcusable to make counseling professionals out LGBT or questioning young people to family members, when all too many parents physically abuse their LGBT children, force them into quack 'reparative therapy' programs, or kick them out of their homes. This disgraceful bill pays lip service to student safety, but in reality it puts vulnerable young people at terrible risk."In the eyes of the ACLU, parents are a "terrible risk" to their own vulnerable children. The attitude here is similar to the one used to attack parental notification for minors seeking abortions. Parents are assumed to be the last ones qualified and apparently the least emotionally capable of dealing with the sexual questions and confusion of their own offspring. This is the nanny state at its worst, and not even the built-in protections in the legislation have assuaged the ACLU's fear of parentally wreaked carnage. The bill explicitly states that:
[N]otice shall not be given to any parent or legal guardian if there is reasonable cause to believe that the parent or legal guardian may be the perpetrator or in any way responsible for sexual abuse of the student.The ACLU is not even bothering to mask its hostility to parents. That organization's assumption is that abuse by parents ("all too many parents") is the rule rather than the exception. The rights of parents are not even in the same league as the rights of the state to hide personal details of the children in its charge. The ACLU's opposition to this proposed law is a preemptive strike against the family, and it needs to be exposed for the subversive organization it has become.