GayGuardBoy saidI may be missing something... but how could this possibly be legal? Aren't counselors technically protected and bound by confidentiality laws like lawyers and doctors? Would not informing parents break this confidentiality? As such, wouldn't this law force them to break another? Or am I misinformed?
Yes, you are incorrect. A minor child does not have this confidentiality protection. The parent is entitled to have complete access to all records and information regarding their minor child. It cannot be denied to them.
That changes at 18. I was the Assistant Registrar of a University, and would deliver part of the group presentations that parents would receive during the registration process for incoming Freshmen (for those parents who chose to attend the new student orientations with their sons & daughters).
And there were always parents, usually fathers, who would bristle at the idea that US Federal law makes student records unavailable to them. "I'm paying his tuition!" a parent would yell. "And you're telling me I can't see his academic record?" Yeah, Dad, you can't. Write your Congressman.
But in elementary and secondary school those records must be shared with the parents. And if Tennessee legislates that teachers and counselors must report and record suspected gay students, that information could not be denied to parents. In fact, it would be sent to the parents, if the law so requires. The student has no claim to confidentiality.