If you read my earlier post, you know exactly how I feel about Bob Wolf, the self-righteous principal of Santiago High School, who outed Charlene Nguon to her parents for showing affection to her girlfriend.
Charlene Nguon decided to sue the Garden Grove School District for violating her privacy. The following is an update:
A recent federal court ruled that school officials may not disclose a student’s sexual orientation to his/her parents (otherwise it violates privacy laws). School districts cannot “out” gay students to their parents even if their sexual orientation is known on campus.
The district tried to argue that Nguon had no expectation of privacy regarding her sexual orientation, because she was openly gay at school.
But U.S. District Judge James V. Selna rejected the district’s argument and found that Nguon had a reasonable expectation of privacy about her sexual orientation. She had the right to determine when and how she wanted (if ever) to inform her parents about her sexual orientation.
Being the mother of an 11-year-old daughter who is coming into her own, I’m glad that there are these privacy laws to protect PEOPLE. Under these privacy laws, schools may not notify a parent about a student’s abortion or birth control. School officials may not notify a parent when a student leaves school to obtain confidential medical services. In cases involving sexual orientation, the interests are even greater, as some parents go as far as to disown their children, kick them out of the house, or worse.
Our children ARE people too and should be afforded the same consideration and respect. It is up to us, the parents, to cultivate an open and trusting relationship so that these “issues” are never private between us and our child. I know that my daughter is only 11. But, I am hoping that when, and if there are questions, concerns, doubts, or fears about anything from sex to drugs to rock n’ roll, she can come to me and talk about ANYTHING.