HB 1608 would effectively ban discussion or acknowledgement of LGBTQ people in schools under the guise of banning conversations around “human sexuality.” This language is incredibly vague and would chill discussions around sexual orientation and gender identity in grades K-3.
This bill was also amended to target any student who may choose not to conform to traditional norms about gender by requiring school staff to share private information and even speculation about students’ gender identities with other school staff and parents. This bill forces teachers and administrators to act as “gender police” by requiring them to monitor students for signs of gender nonconformity and report suspicions. HB 1608 also allows for school staff to misgender and deadname trans students, even if the student’s parents request that the school recognizes their child’s chosen name and pronouns.
LGBTQ students exist at all ages and in all grade levels. This bill sends a dangerous message to these already vulnerable youth that they and their stories are worth less than their peers.