Advice & Education

School counselors get caught in the GOP’s culture-war

Florida’s “Parental Rights in Education” bill has created confusion, fear and anxiety for the state’s school counselors. They wonder if sponsoring their schools’ Gay Straight Alliance means they’ll have to break their students’ confidences. They’re confused about whether they can assess suicide risk if a student comes to them in crisis. The new law requires parental permission first. They’re harassed by activists who accuse them of “government indoctrination.” Most of all, they worry the new law will discourage students from seeking help when they need it.

via Rolling Stone

The law requires schools to notify parents when students receive most mental health services. The legislation will also force the state to rewrite its school counseling standards — likely, in a way that no longer “advocates for and affirms” diversity in sexual orientation and gender.

The “Don’t Say Gay” bill has inspired copycat legislation in at least a dozen other states and conservatives have championed these restrictions as a victory for “parents rights.”

More than 240 anti-LBGTQ bills have been introduced since January 2022 — a rate of more than three per day, according to data from the American Civil Liberties Union.