Bill introduced in Louisiana restricting teachers from calling students by preferred names/pronouns without parental permission

Bill introduced restricting teachers from calling students by preferred names/pronouns without parental permission
Published: Mar. 15, 2023 at 9:33 PM CDT|Updated: Mar. 16, 2023 at 10:52 AM CDT
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MONROE, La. (KNOE) - Louisiana state lawmakers are set to consider a bill that could affect members of the LGBTQ community.

“Why is someone just that hellbent on just making someone’s life miserable,” said Natalie Elethorp of Louisiana Trans Advocates.

It would require teachers to call students by the name on their birth certificate and to use pronouns that reflect the sex listed on their birth certificate.

“It is outing them if their schoolmates don’t know because a lot of times, trans kids, and trans youth that come out, they will come out and move schools so that nobody knows them otherwise, Elethorp, a transgender woman, told KNOE.

The bill says it’s designed to uphold parents’ constitutional and recognized rights in public education.

Elethorp says getting parental permission isn’t always possible because kids are afraid to come out to their parents.

Elethorp says misgendering someone who identifies as non-binary or transgender is disrespectful and can affect thier mental health.

“We already said we are trying to remove bullying from schools,” said Elethorp. “That’s been one of the big pushes for years, but you are actively saying a school employee has a right to bully this child.”

According to an American Academy of Pediatrics study, more than 50% of transgender youth consider suicide.

“I think that the odds of suicide are already there, and I feel like this is only going to probably push that even higher,” explained Elethorp.

KNOE contacted several state lawmakers, including Representative Micheal Echols (R-14) and Representative Francis Thompson (D-19), who declined to comment.

The bill also says even with parental permission, teachers don’t have to use someone’s preferred pronouns if it’s contrary to their religious or moral convictions.

We also contacted the bill’s author, Representative Raymond Crews, but he didn’t respond.