A Texas lawmaker introduced a bill Monday that would protect teachers from participating in “inclusivity policies” such as the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) assessment that tells teachers to be supportive of LGBTQ students and join their school’s “Gay Straight Alliance Club.”
House Bill (HB) 2659, filed by Republican Texas Rep. Terri Leo-Wilson, would make it illegal for school districts to “discipline, retaliate against or otherwise discriminate” against a teacher if they refuse to participate in mandated “inclusivity policies” such as the CDC’s “LGBTQ Inclusivity in Schools: A Self-Assessment Tool,” which grades teachers on their ability to “address the needs of LGBTQ students who might otherwise be excluded or marginalized” in their classroom. It is unclear if any schools are requiring the assessment but the bill was introduced in the event that teachers are mandated to do so.(RELATED: CDC Assessment Tells Teachers To ‘Commit To Change’ If They Are Not ‘Awesome Allies’)
The act, which aims to protect those with “sincerely held religious beliefs,” would take effect immediately if approved by two-thirds of both the Texas Senate and House, where republicans have the majority. The assessment tool named in the bill was originally published in October 2020 but resurfaced in December 2022 after the CDC posted the document to Twitter.
The assessment, which ranks teachers’ actions from “minimally inclusive” to “highly inclusive,” asks participants whether they correct others when they use a gendered or “outdated” term such as “boyfriend” or “girlfriend.”
Teachers who take the assessment are asked about their “beliefs, assumptions, & biases” and if they are active members of “[their] schools’ Gay Straight Alliance/Genders and Sexualities Alliance (GSA),” a student group that focuses on creating “safe and affirming spaces for LGBTQ students as well as to promote ally-ship among cisgender and straight peers.”
School administrators: Our LGBTQ inclusivity self-assessment tool can help you quickly gauge inclusivity at your school. See your score today and learn ways to increase inclusivity: https://t.co/mXgPtVtg24 pic.twitter.com/R2cWbynZ1n
— CDC’s Division of Adolescent and School Health (@CDC_DASH) December 27, 2022
The assessment labels teachers who agreed with most statements and are “supportive of LGBTQ students” as an “awesome ally” while teachers who disagreed with many of the statements were advised that they are “not currently as well prepared as [they] could be to provide inclusive and supportive environments for LGBTQ students.”
On Feb. 3, America First Legal filed a public records request to determine how federal tax dollars are being spent on the CDC’s assessment tool, according to the Daily Signal. It is unclear if any Texas schools require teachers to take the assessment.
Leo-Wilson did not immediately respond to the Daily Caller News Foundation’s request for comment.
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