-Submitted by David Drumm (Nal), Guest Blogger
Texas Civil Rights Project attorney James C. Harrington has filed a lawsuit in United States District Court against the Kilgore [TX] Independent School District and softball coaches Rhonda Fletcher and Cassandra Newell. The suit was brought on behalf of the mother of the minor daughter, referred to as S.W. The suit alleges that the coaches violated the daughter’s fourteenth amendment right to privacy by disclosing the girl’s sexual orientation to her mother.
The KISD claims their policy mandates that teachers reveal students’ sexual orientation to their parents.
The complaint alleges that Fletcher and Newell, using their authority as school officials, restrained S.W. in a locked room and forced her to confirm her sexual orientation. The complaint also alleges that Fletcher claimed that S.W. was spreading gossip that another girl was “Coach Newell’s girlfriend.”
From the complaint:
When S.W. denied these accusations, Fletcher and Newell reacted angrily. Fletcher stepped in close to S.W. and began yelling at her, threatening to sue her for slander and demanding that she “stop lying.” Newell also made menacing gestures. S.W. was very afraid, and feared they might strike her. This behavior went on for a few minutes.
I fail to see a compelling, or even reasonable, governmental interest in violating a student’s privacy in such a manner.
The lawsuit asks for actual and punitive damages. They better be glad that I’m not on the jury.
H/T: The Raw Story, Complaint (searchable pdf).
16 thoughts on “School Outs Student to Parents”
I suppose he’ll he drinking liquor since he outed the licker…
If this on the other hand were New York, it would have been policy because it’s unhealthy for a child not to acknowledge and embrace their true selves. (And would have been as equally outrageous an act.)
Colorado Kid says: “I would want to know, so that I could pull my kid from the school and place him/her in a private school and get them the counseling and medication that they need, so as to get them straight again.”
I certainly hope that was snark, because if it is not, it is not the kid who needs counseling.
I would want to know, so that I could pull my kid from the school and place him/her in a private school and get them the counseling and medication that they need, so as to get them straight again.
“Heav’n has no Rage, like Love to Hatred turn’d,
Nor Hell a Fury, like a Woman scorn’d.” — William Congreve
‘The mourning bride’, 1697.
The coach’s 18 year old girlfriend turns to a younger woman? Since this is TEXAS, S.W. is lucky they didn’t have their guns with them.
It will be interesting to read the KISD policy statement about required disclosure of sexual orientation to parents, if it even exists (and if it’s not a very recent addition). The school is in a pickle if it does exist and if it doesn’t, I think.
In the bad old days when the NFL used to broadcast the half-time shows at football games, you could always depend on the Dallas Cowboys announcing that the show would feature the Kilgore Rangerettes and that a local band with “The World’s Biggest Bass Drum” would play a medley of songs about Texas. My brother and I would then enjoy 15 minutes of hysterical laughter while we hurled insults and pillows at the TV set.
I think we can safely assume that regardless of what officials claim to be district policy, teachers do not send students home with notes informing parents that their children are heterosexual.
The coaches in this instance were attempting to intimidate this student for unknown reasons. However, I suspect that it was not related to either school policy or religious conservatism, at least not directly. We will probably learn that one of the coaches is gay and was upset because she believed that S.W. was spreading stories that would reveal that fact. Fear all around.
And, of course, we all know that gay girls do not make good Rangerettes.
Interesting article and comments…
Swarthmore mom wrote:
“The possible purpose could be to get them to christian counseling in a hurry.”
Thanks for providing the local “color”, Swarthmore mom. A strong possibility, it would seeem… Too many religious nuts out there…
The first thing Texas (and many other state’s) need to do in these days of budgetary belt-tightening is direct that everyone on their payroll or that they subsidize in any way, just stop doing stupid, illegal stuff. It would save the state millions.
I get the picture and that helps to explain the stupidity but the big, bad world has now come to Kilgore.
But in honor of the revival tents I give you this:
Culheath: The possible purpose could be to get them to christian counseling in a hurry. Kilgore, Tx is home to the Kilgore Rangerettes and many, many evangelical churches. It is in the piney woods of east texas and closely resembles the old south. It is the kind of place where revival tents were the norm, and maybe still are.
“The KISD claims their policy mandates that teachers reveal students’ sexual orientation to their parents.”
To what possible purpose?
Surely, the school district attorneys will advise the school to settle out of court as quickly as possible. Wonder if the self-righteous among them will see the wisdom of such a course. At any rate, I have a feeling the student in question will not have to worry about where the college money will be coming from.
It is probably too much to hope for that the teacher’s license to practice will be pulled, or for that matter, the teacher will be disciplined.
Personal animus masquerading as adherence to policy, and perhaps a policy promoting a religious reprobation of homosexuality. I have no idea what the result will be at trial with the good citizens of Kilgore, but I know a wrong or two when I see them.
I too fail to see a compelling or even remotely reasonable governmental interest in violating a student’s privacy in such a manner.
It’s quite simply none of their damn business.
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