ALBUQUERQUE, N.M. (KRQE) – The Albuquerque Public School Board is tabling the controversial parent’s rights proposal. This comes after a night of heated debate amongst board members on what parents should be able to be told about if their child confides in an APS staff member.
The proposal would give parents the right to access student information including what they tell school counselors. Board member, Courtney Jackson introduced the policy change. “This is a direct attempt to improve communication and be responsive to the community members that we serve, both as an organization and as a board. This policy is not intended to out students, to create fear, to betray trust or hinder communication with counselors,” said Jackson.
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The Transgender Resource Center of New Mexico posted on social media saying the policy poses risks for LGBTQ+ students, saying the policy could “out” students to parents who are not accepting. Some board members agreed saying the policy is dangerous. Another question in the policy is if a student talks to a counselor about violence or abuse in the household would the parents get to know before authorities?
“We’re saying no you cannot go to families and I’m completely against that. I want to make sure that all students regardless of the conversation, regardless of how challenging it’s going to be, that they can have those hard conversations,” said APS School Board Member Crystal Tapia- Romero. “When it’s the student’s call, like with support, they can go and start repairing that relationship at home. I don’t know a single counselor that doesn’t have that as a goal, but to out a student,” said APS School Board member, Barbara Peterson.
Board member, Courtney Jackson was the only one to vote against tabling the proposal. However, she did strike some of the language from the proposed policy including a line that says parents have the right to expect teachers to be “good role models.” Board member Peterson says it’s too subjective, leaving parents to decide what is a good role model. There is no word on when board members could take up the policy again.