Indiana’s Republican governor has signed a bill that could potentially expose transgender students to their families by banning the discussion of “human sexuality” in schools. According to the Associated Press, if a student requests to be addressed by a different pronoun, title, or word, the school must inform the student’s parent or legal guardian in writing within five business days. The new law also prohibits the teaching of “human sexuality” to students in grades kindergarten through third. The ACLU of Indiana has criticized the lack of a definition for “human sexuality” in the new rule and warned that it may be used to silence any mention of LGBTQ people in schools, ban books with LGBTQ characters, fire LGBTQ teachers, and bar Pride flags from classrooms.
Furthermore, the law requires schools to reveal the gender identity of transgender students, exposing them to more bullying and violence. The ACLU has called the measure harsh and invasive of privacy, stating that school may be the only safe place for transgender youth to be themselves. Governor Eric Holcomb signed the law on Thursday, along with another law that makes it easier to remove books from school libraries. Both laws are part of a series of anti-LGBTQ+ laws presented by Indiana Republicans this year, which the ACLU of Indiana has dubbed the “slate of hate.” The organization is currently evaluating the laws in this area and has vowed to protect LGBTQ rights.