Op-Ed: Senate bill could be detrimental to students’ futures

Op-Ed: Senate bill could be detrimental to students futures

Indiana Senate Bill 413 has been proposed, with language that is scarily similar to Florida’s House Bill 1557. If SB 413 passes, teachers will be required to call home and report students who are questioning their gender identity.

Why are we giving so much power to the parents in places that don’t belong to them? For some kids school is a safe place, a place to escape from their home life. For some kids, school is a place to get away from parents or family members who have less-than-favorable traits that may or may not include homophobia or transphobia. This bill, aimed at giving parents more power in schools, would completely undermine that.

Additionally, in this proposed bill, it says that the bill would require school to tell “parents of social emotional, behavioral, mental, and physical health services or support offered by a school corporation and the parent [has the] option to withhold consent or decline any of those health services or support.”

In schools, some students are seeking help via the guidance department. If this bill passes, then parents would be able to deny their children the free access to guidance help in schools. This may not seem like an issue, but there are parents out there who will deny their children access to help because “my kid doesn’t have mental issues” or fears that the help their child seeks is too “woke”.

The world isn’t perfect, and there’s a whole lot of families that aren’t perfect either. If this was an ideal world, then sure, keeping parents informed would be great, but this isn’t an ideal world. In this world, there are families that will not support their children if those families knew that their kids were LGBTQIA+. In this world, some kids can, and will be, kicked out of their house and go homeless if their parents knew they were gay.

The fear that can overwhelm a person when they feel trapped is traumatizing. By creating bills that will force teachers to out students, we are effectively agreeing that it is okay to put children in situations that aren’t safe; we are agreeing that it is okay to take the safe communication place that school is for some students and switch it into a situation where LGBTQIA+ youth must hide who they are in terms of gender identity and sexual identity.

In this world, passing bills like this not only possibly endangers children, it creates a crisis for the LGBTQIA+ youth.

If you or someone you care for is struggling, please contact either our Mental Health Counselor or one of the following hotlines. People are here for you, so please do not suffer alone.

National Suicide Prevention Lifeline: 9-8-8

Crisis Text Line: text “IN” to 741741

Suicide Prevention: text “Start” to 678678