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Thread: School outed teen to parents, said it was ‘legally obligated’: lawsuit

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    School outed teen to parents, said it was ‘legally obligated’: lawsuit

    Two softball coaches at a Texas high school are being sued after allegedly confining a teenaged girl in a locked room, forcing her to confirm her sexual orientation, then outing her to her parents before ejecting her from the softball team.

    The lawsuit states that the school district defended the actions by saying the teachers were "legally obligated" to inform the parents of the child's sexuality.
    Where the **** do they get the idea that the school has to inform the parents if she is a lesbian or not? I hope these dirt bags get royally ****ed over.

    School outed teen to parents, said it was ‘legally obligated’: lawsuit | Raw Story
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    Re: School outed teen to parents, said it was ‘legally obligated’: lawsuit

    Quote Originally Posted by chevydriver1123 View Post
    Where the **** do they get the idea that the school has to inform the parents if she is a lesbian or not? I hope these dirt bags get royally ****ed over.

    School outed teen to parents, said it was ‘legally obligated’: lawsuit | Raw Story
    I really hope they get fired over this.
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    Re: School outed teen to parents, said it was ‘legally obligated’: lawsuit

    Quote Originally Posted by chevydriver1123 View Post
    Where the **** do they get the idea that the school has to inform the parents if she is a lesbian or not? I hope these dirt bags get royally ****ed over.

    School outed teen to parents, said it was ‘legally obligated’: lawsuit | Raw Story
    wow....incredible.

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    Re: School outed teen to parents, said it was ‘legally obligated’: lawsuit

    "Fletcher asked SW if she was gay, and accused her of having a sexual relationship with another girl. She also claimed that SW was spreading gossip about this other girl being 'Coach Newell’s girlfriend," the lawsuit states
    When SW denied these accusations, Fletcher and Newell reacted angrily. Fletcher stepped in close to SW and began yelling at her, threatening to sue her for slander and demanding that she “stop lying.” Newell also made menacing gestures. SW was very afraid, and feared they might strike her. This behavior went on for a few minutes.
    I think this indicates the probable reasons for the coaches actions. It would seem to me that they were not acting out of some sense of obligation to uphold some policy or law, but because they were pissed at accusations being spread about one of the coaches. In other words... they were being bitchy.

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    Re: School outed teen to parents, said it was ‘legally obligated’: lawsuit

    Ok - I see two different things going on here.

    1) How they confronted her - this is wrong and they should be fired for it - a charge of assault and false imprisonment - very harsh charges. She, also, shouldn't have been kicked off the team - everything that they did was wrong.

    2) Informing the parents of her orientation - though they acted like some douches - I feel that this subject is a necessity the same as informing your parents of anything else that happens to you while you're at school and away from your parents.

    On this issue of informing - it should be in the form of a discussion and out of concern for the student - not out of "let's get them in trouble" as if they've done something wrong.
    I have 4 children - and if the school knew something about them that I didn't know - I'd be hurt, at the least, if I eventually found out something. Especially in this day and age where bullying of lesbian and gay students is becoming more common and more detrimental. When some students have committed suicide over these issues it's in large part because their parents weren't involved, didn't care - or didn't even know - and gave no support or help at all.

    So - why shouldn't the parents know?
    As we all are becoming aware - often time sexual orientation issues can lead to serious social, emotional and other personal problems and it's up to the school to bring these concerns up to the parents or at least see if the parents are supportive and seeking help.

    The school IS suppose to be concerned for the students wellbeing - they provide counseling and they intervene often with other issues. If you care for a child for 8-10 hours of the day you are a caregiver and it's your responsibility to keep the parents informed and involved WITH the ongoings of said child while the parents and children are separated.

    So this part doesn't bother me - it's HOW they treated this girl that DOES bother me and IS a major problem. But the fact that they told the parents - though they should have done things completely different - is not an issue.

    Why does this upset everyone else - as if a parent no longer has the right to know what's going on with their kids?
    Is everyone assuming the parents won't be caring, loving and supporting?

    I know I would - and I'd much rather be able to talk to my kids about ANYTHING that they're dealing with as opposed to everyone else railroading them mentally while they're suppose to be in math class.
    Last edited by Aunt Spiker; 12-27-10 at 12:05 PM.
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    Re: School outed teen to parents, said it was ‘legally obligated’: lawsuit

    AS... my concern in regards to the informing is... does the school actually have the legal right to do so? What law were they following? Is 'inform child's parents if child is thought to be gay' actually in the law?

    I don't think the school actually has a legal obligation, or right, to interfere in something so personal. It's between the children and the parents... no one else.

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    Re: School outed teen to parents, said it was ‘legally obligated’: lawsuit

    Quote Originally Posted by Whovian View Post
    AS... my concern in regards to the informing is... does the school actually have the legal right to do so? What law were they following? Is 'inform child's parents if child is thought to be gay' actually in the law?

    I don't think the school actually has a legal obligation, or right, to interfere in something so personal. It's between the children and the parents... no one else.
    I'm not saying they are legally required.
    But they have a moral obligation out of the concern of the student to discuss anything that might be of the parent's concern.

    Schools are legally required to support suspected child abuse, sickness, and troublesome behavior - but you don't expect them to discuss other areas of concern at all?

    That makes no sense to me - I should hear the good AND the bad about my kids while they're students - as long as I am overall responsible for their health and well being they are completely my business and nothing should be a secret.

    But in a reasonable and concerned way - not in some stupid phone call after such a ridiculous and humiliating chain of events which likely caused her more embarrassment than anything else might have.
    Last edited by Aunt Spiker; 12-27-10 at 12:13 PM.
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    Re: School outed teen to parents, said it was ‘legally obligated’: lawsuit

    Quote Originally Posted by chevydriver1123 View Post
    Where the **** do they get the idea that the school has to inform the parents if she is a lesbian or not? I hope these dirt bags get royally ****ed over.

    School outed teen to parents, said it was ‘legally obligated’: lawsuit | Raw Story
    While I think the coaches' actions were outrageous, I don't think it rises to the level of a winnable civil lawsuit. Criminal? Maybe so. It sounds as if the girl was unlawfully detained. The truth is a complete and total defense for slander. If the girl admitted she was gay, there is no harm nor foul to the coaches revealing this information to the girl's mother. There is no presumption of confidentiality in the law between coaches and students. Lawsuit outa' gas.

    If the DA sees fit to charge the two coaches with unlawfully detaining her and they're found guilty, then I could see a winnable suit on that basis. But for revealing she's gay?? In what country??
    Last edited by MaggieD; 12-27-10 at 12:42 PM.
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    Re: School outed teen to parents, said it was ‘legally obligated’: lawsuit

    Quote Originally Posted by Aunt Spiker View Post
    I'm not saying they are legally required.
    But they have a moral obligation out of the concern of the student to discuss anything that might be of the parent's concern.

    Schools are legally required to support suspected child abuse, sickness, and troublesome behavior - but you don't expect them to discuss other areas of concern at all?

    That makes no sense to me - I should hear the good AND the bad about my kids while they're students - as long as I am overall responsible for their health and well being they are completely my business and nothing should be a secret.

    But in a reasonable and concerned way - not in some stupid phone call after such a ridiculous and humiliating chain of events which likely caused her more embarrassment than anything else might have.
    I'm not sure I'd place 'suspected homosexuality' on the same level as suspected child abuse, sickness, and troublesome behavior.

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    Re: School outed teen to parents, said it was ‘legally obligated’: lawsuit

    Legally, the school has no reason to report this. The child is not in danger or harming themselves. Beyond the legalities, there is also no reason to inform the parents. If a child wants a parent to know about their sexuality, it is their place to say, not the school's. There is nothing dangerous happening, so, though I don't think there is anything litigious, what those teachers did was unnecessary.

    As a therapist, if a teenage client tells me that they are gay, no way will I inform the parent. I may tell the teen that it would be a good idea to inform them and help them to do so, but there may be very good reasons why the teen would not want their parents to know. This would be the same if the teen told me they were sexually active.

    The teachers were absolutely wrong in this case.
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