HB 150: Kentucky proposed legislation the latest in nation-wide parents’ rights conversation


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A graphic containing the silhouette of Kentucky.

Since July 1, 2022, some form of Florida’s controversial ‘‘Don’t Say Gay” (HB 1557) has been put on the books in 20+ states such as Florida and Alabama. According to activists, it has spread to the commonwealth of Kentucky in the form of House Bill 150, which was passed on February 15th.

HB 150, introduced by Senator Max Wise with 11 sponsors, such as Gary Boswell and Brandon Storm does not bear too many policy similarities to Florida’s HB 1557; however, it does share a similar sentiment. HB 150 forces schools to inform parents of any information regarding sexuality and gender disclosed by the student to the school.

The bill also prohibits schools from recommending or requiring teachers to use their students’ preferred pronouns. 

Possibly more concerning, schools must notify parents two weeks before their student receives anything resembling sexual education. This is done to prevent any material that isn’t “developmentally appropriate,” according to the bill.

Activists in Kentucky say that with abortion, at least currently, outlawed, improper sexual education will lead to the spread of STDs and unwanted teen pregnancy.

According to sponsors, HB 150 will put the power over a child’s sexuality and identity into the hands of their parent. Predictably, this was met with controversy as it could effectively eliminate confidential services within schools.

Mason Chernowski, a transgender man told CBS WLKY, “I was terrified someone at school was going to tell my parents, especially the teachers if I went to seek support.”

Those juxtaposed with these activists are adamant that the bill is about the right of parents to stay involved and informed about their children. 

The argument has been made that HB 150 would violate client confidentiality; however, school counselors have always had more of a right to speak with parents.

According to CBS WHAS, Kentucky senator Danny Carroll maintains that “This vote does not come from a place of hate.” And reminds his colleagues and fellow Kentuckians that, “It’s important to understand each other and respect each other’s beliefs as we move forward.”

While many senators and activists have stayed civil and respectful, others such as Senator Reginald Thomas have been vocal about their opposition.

“This bill is designed to only do one thing, and that promotes an agenda,” said Thomas. 

On February 15th, activists held what they called a “fairness rally” to protest the passing of the bill. Although, since the bill has been passed, it is unlikely that it will be repealed anytime soon.

HB 150 isn’t going to destroy all rights for LGBTQ students and it most likely won’t be used to dismantle Counselor-client privilege laws. It really comes down to whether the state should interfere with the delicate relationship between students, schools, and parents.