Updated: Jul 2, 2021
As parents grapple with gaining control over their local school districts, Progressives introduce bills that push parents further away from the power equation.
By: Savanah Hulsey Pointer
HB 882 sponsored by Durham Rep. Zach Hawkins (D) is called “Behavioral Health Services for Students.” The first part of the legislation states it wants to make a way so “students may receive behavioral health services in school units.”
This is troubling because according to the bill it encompasses “adaptive behavior treatment” as well as “research-based behavioral health treatment.” The program is described as allowing for the implementation of a “plan developed by a behavioral health provider to provide behavioral health services to a student on school property during the instructional day.”
That when combined with North Carolina’s policy that states that “any minor may give effective consent to a physician licensed to practice medicine in North Carolina for medical health services for the prevention, diagnosis and treatment of ...emotional disturbance,” essentially allows schools and students to cut parents out of the mental health of students altogether.
Next there is SB 392 Sponsored by Sens. Jay Chaudhuri of Wake, Natalie Murdock (D) of Durham and Natasha Marcus (D) of Mecklenberg. This piece of legislation is called the Mental Health Protection Act and covers the mental health of anyone believed to be part of the LGBTQ+ community.
The opening of the bill makes reference to various sexual orientations, saying they are not “illnesses” and cited a “Task Force on Appropriate Therapeutic Responses to Sexual Orientation.”
The bill goes on to make a case against “conversion therapy” which it identifies as “Any practices or treatments that seek to change an individual's sexual orientation or gender identity, including efforts to change behaviors and gender expressions or eliminate or reduce sexual or romantic attractions or feelings towards individuals of the same gender.”
Essentially, if a minor person says that they believe they’re attracted to a certain person, or that they feel out of place in their own body for whatever the stated reason, there can be no counseling that is in any way derogatory toward whatever the child says. So children are going to be allowed to put themselves into protected classes, and potentially receive treatment for something said on a whim.
This bill could be the open door for children to receive “therapeutic” responses to self-identification with anything along the LGBTQ+ spectrum. In other words, it’s reasonable to assume that if enacted, these two bills together could give schools the ability and legal protection to turn John Doe into Jane Doe without her parents' permission or even notification.