This bill would have prevented state, county, and local government employees from advising a child to withhold information from their parents and would have also required them to disclose information, including potentially private information, at a parent’s request. This legislation was incredibly broad and would have applied to teachers, DCS workers, certain health clinicians, and government employees that interact with minors in nearly every facet of public life; potentially making it more difficult for these professionals to carry out their duties. Language in the bill would have also exposed them to liability by allowing a parent to sue if an entity is found not in compliance.
In the school setting, SB 46 did not fully balance parent’s rights with a student’s right to privacy. For example, this legislation could have been used to force a teacher to “out” an LGBTQ student to their parents.
Although labeled as parental rights legislation, the bill also doubled down on existing state law that strips parents of the right to make certain medical decisions for their children, including necessary medical services for transgender children.