Source: News & Observer
North Carolinians, local school boards and education advocates have pushed back against state Republicans Don’t Say Gay law, also known as Parents’ Bill of Rights.
The law, introduced in this year’s legislative session, erases lessons about gender identity, and sexual orientation, and threatens educators with disciplinary action if they refuse to out students to their parents.
In the complaint, Youth OUTright, PFLAG Asheville and Campaign for Southern Equality, alleged that the law, “creates a hostile educational environment for LGBTQIA+ students, families, staff, and faculty”.
The groups also state that implementing the law would “violate Title IX” and the school system’s obligation to provide every student with a safe and non-discriminatory school environment”.
Several school districts, including Durham Public Schools, have been weighing in on the implementation of the controversial law since its passage.
Since the beginning, advocates, parents and leaders from Chatham County and Buncombe County schools, were vocal about the burden caused by SB49; with parents worrying about retaining teachers amid a controversial policy.
“It is obvious that SB 49 was created to be a distraction, an example of culture wars at their worst, but this legislation is also incredibly damaging to our LGBTQIA students, parents and staff,” Emily Boynton, a Chatham County parent, told N.C. Newsline.
Just last week, Durham Public School leaders announced that they will discuss ways to change the discriminatory measures; prompting a discussion to include more inclusive language and clearer guidelines for their own district’s guidelines.
“We recognize that Senate Bill 49 may have some negative impacts on some of the students and families, so we have crafted our policies in a way that we will hope protects and families and provides the necessary supports needed,” Bettina Umstead, Durham Public school board chair, told WRAL.
Durham is not the only school system considering changes to the controversial law, as Wake County Public School leaders have already approved new policies, including:
- Notifying parents of survey questions being asked of students
- Requiring school systems to send parents copies of survey questions
- Allowing parents to request a list of materials their child gets from the library
- Asking staff to not encourage a child to keep a secret from a parent
According to WRAL, local advocacy groups plan to file a federal Title IX complaint against the implementation of SB 49 with the U.S. Department of Education Office of Civil Rights in January.