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Advocates File Complaint Over Discriminatory ‘Parents’ Bill Of Rights’ Law

Source: NC Newsline 

A North Carolina group has filed a federal Title IX complaint against the North Carolina State Board of Education and the North Carolina Department of Public Instruction, alleging new state laws discriminate against LGBTQ+ students.

The Campaign for Southern Equality, an Asheville-based nonprofit, filed the complaint late last month, alleging that North Carolina’s adoption of the “Parents’ Bill of Rights” law has resulted in policies and practices that discriminate against LGBTQ students.

According to the Asheville Citizen-Times, the 113-page filing highlights “accounts of harm and hostility” from 24 North Carolina students, parents, teachers, and administrators.

The Asheville Citizen-Times reports that the complaint details ways in which this law, along with other school policies, is discriminatory towards LGBTQ students, including:

  • LGBTQ+ affirming materials, and books with LGBTQ+ characters, are being removed from schools.
  • School officials are outing LGBTQ+ students to their parents and peers.
  • LGBTQ+ students are facing new barriers in accessing health and mental health support.
  • LGBTQ+ students are being walled off from supportive educators.
  • Transgender students are being barred from participating in athletics

“When S.B. 49 passed we imagined all of the ways that students, parents, educators, and the North Carolina school system at large would be damaged. This complaint shows that those harms are actually happening right now in schools across North Carolina – endangering and marginalizing LGBTQ+ students and students from LGBTQ+ families,” Craig White, Supportive Schools Director at Campaign for Southern Equality, told Spectrum News

“The state’s public education system is now clouded by fear, discrimination, and censorship that interferes with students’ ability to learn,” White added. “It is time for school districts to stop implementing S.B. 49 – because the anti-LGBTQ+ policies that this law requires are patently incompatible with the Title IX protections to which every LGBTQ+ student is entitled.”

North Carolina Republican’s version of the Don’t Say Gay bill, also known as Parents’ Bill of Rights, includes requirements that parents must be notified before their child uses a different name or pronoun in school, and threatens educators with disciplinary action if they refuse to “out” students to their parents.

Since its passage, local parents,  LGBTQ+ groups, and school leaders have been vocal about the burden caused by the law.

In Asheville, parents and community members have strongly advocated against the implementation of the law, leading to the school district being one of the few that has yet to approve the law. 

“As a teacher, this legislation is awful,” Matthew Leggat, a teacher at Montford North Star Academy, told WLOS

In its complaint on behalf of North Carolina’s LGBTQ students, the Campaign for Southern Equality wrote, “Under the leadership of the North Carolina State Board of Education and the Department of Public Instruction, local school districts are barring LGBTQ-affirming content, outing transgender students, erecting barriers to LGBTQ students receiving needed health care at school as well as support from educators and prohibiting transgender girls from playing athletics consistent with their gender identity.”

Read more at N.C. Newsline.

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