A proposed bill in Texas could force teachers to out LGBT students to their parents, critics have warned.
Senate Bill 242, which reportedly came in response to a discussion on transgender bathroom rights by the Fort Worth schoolboard, suggests parents have a right to access written records on their child's "general physical, psychological or emotional well-being".
The exception to the information that can be shared with parents is in cases of child abuse, the bill, filed by Republican senator Konni Burton, states, CBS News reported.
In an opinion piece concerning the transgender bathroom discussion in Fort Worth, which proposed students be allowed to use the bathroom that matched their gender identity, Burton wrote that parents should have been consulted on the decision, The Houston Chronicle reported.
She said: "I've heard it argued already that leaving parents in the dark is in the interest of safety, yet research shows transgender people are at an exponentially higher risk of suicide than the general population.
"Do we not want these young people to have every available avenue for support? A parent's love does not end when the bell rings, and it doesn't take summer vacation.
"The love of a parent is irreplaceable, and those who would treat parents as unessential or potentially harmful are damaging the integrity of American family, which is the cornerstone of our society. Strong families build strong communities."
She added: "Any policy that creates barriers or allows secrets to be withheld from parents is destructive and ultimately counterproductive."
However, critics of the bill - which Burton says will strengthen existing state law - say it opens up the possibility that teachers will be prosecuted for not sharing information with parents, and could put children in danger.
"Until kids are not kicked out of their house for being gay or transgender, and until kids are not being beaten by parents for being gay or transgender, we owe it to kids to protect them," Steven M. Rudman, Equality Texas board chairman, said in a statement seen by the Houston Chronicle.
"We believe Sen. Burton's legislation would essentially destroy protected communications between a student and an educator."