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Tennessee

‘Don’t Say Gay’ bill is back, with new provision to ‘out’ LGBT students

Wednesday, January 30, 2013

A Tennessee lawmaker has resurrected the controversial “Don’t Say Gay” bill which would prohibit teachers from discussing sexuality with their students, but with a new provision that would require school officials to “out” LGBT students to their parents.

On Tuesday, state Sen. Stacey Campfield (R-Knoxville) re-introduced the bill (SB 0234), officially titled the “Classroom Protection Act,” which proposes to limit all sexually related instruction to “natural human reproduction science” in kindergarten through eighth grade.

“At grade levels pre-K through eight (pre-K-8), any such classroom instruction, course materials or other informational resources that are inconsistent with natural human reproduction shall be classified as inappropriate for the intended student audience and, therefore, shall be prohibited.”

But the new version of the bill does not prohibit school counselors, nurses, principals or assistant principals from counseling students on the subject of sexuality, sexual orientation or gender identity, or as it describes as “behavior injurious to the physical or mental health and well- being of the student,” but adds:

“Parents or legal guardians of students who receive such counseling shall be notified as soon as practicable that such counseling has occurred.”

Since the bill was first introduced in 2008 by Campfield (then a representative in the state House), critics have charged that the measure is unnecessary, as state education officials have publicly said that alternative lifestyle discussions are already banned from the state school’s curricula guidelines.

A 2011 version of the bill would have allowed students to ask teachers or guidance counselors questions about “alternative lifestyles,” but prohibited teaching homosexuality “as an acceptable lifestyle.”

That bill passed the Senate but later died in the House when lawmakers failed to put the bill up for a vote.

The newly updated bill submitted by Campfield makes no mention of homosexuality.

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30 more reader comments:

  1. -_-

    Posted on Wednesday, January 30, 2013 at 1:32pm
  2. What is it with these morons? They lost & need to grow up!

    Posted on Wednesday, January 30, 2013 at 1:33pm
  3. I am liking to move up the profile, not the content….

    Posted on Wednesday, January 30, 2013 at 1:33pm
  4. Did you talk to anyone in Tennessee about this piece?

    Posted on Wednesday, January 30, 2013 at 1:38pm
  5. Sick people!! This is so intrusive on so many levels.

    Posted on Wednesday, January 30, 2013 at 1:39pm
  6. “inconsistent with natural human reproduction”.

    That doesn’t stop the teaching of Sexual Orientation or Homosexuality, since Homosexuality is a natural human reproduction.

    Posted on Wednesday, January 30, 2013 at 1:45pm
  7. well that just means more people will stay in the closet then

    Posted on Wednesday, January 30, 2013 at 1:49pm
  8. They propose to feed half-baked knowledge! So much 4 EDUCATION!

    Posted on Wednesday, January 30, 2013 at 1:51pm
  9. What a piece of garbage

    Posted on Wednesday, January 30, 2013 at 1:53pm
  10. Riiiight. Inconsistent with reproduction.

    How about the fact that children will be beat up and killed if they’re outed? Doesn’t that pose a problem for reproduction?

    If some some sick fucker wants to not talk about his sex life, that’s his business. But the sexual preferences of kids is none of his business.

    Let’s focus on the bullying, the lack of educational opportunities in some areas, the lack of nutritional lunches, and the lack of support for those with learning disabilities or differences.

    Outing people? That’s bullying. Those who supported it should be removed from their positions.

    Posted on Wednesday, January 30, 2013 at 1:53pm
  11. What a shame that flood didn’t wash away the entire Tennessee Leg! Nobody would miss them and they’d only leave behind a slight scent of Tea. . .

    Posted on Wednesday, January 30, 2013 at 1:57pm
  12. chris sanders, what’s the point of your question?

    Posted on Wednesday, January 30, 2013 at 1:58pm
  13. Gah! This angers me so much that I don’t even know what to say.

    Posted on Wednesday, January 30, 2013 at 2:21pm
  14. My God is there that many stupid people in this world.

    Posted on Wednesday, January 30, 2013 at 2:27pm
  15. Apparently the first amendment is unimportant in Tennessee. But the second amendment–don’t mess with that!

    Posted on Wednesday, January 30, 2013 at 3:18pm
  16. should we all waer p;ink triangles?

    Posted on Wednesday, January 30, 2013 at 3:36pm
  17. Frickin’ back-woods Tennessee…unreal..

    Posted on Wednesday, January 30, 2013 at 5:16pm
  18. Outing gay children is so very wrong. Potentially devastating results. If passed, this would increase gay teen suicide in that state. Irresponsible jack asses!

    Posted on Wednesday, January 30, 2013 at 5:29pm
  19. thats horrible if this passes I will cry for days

    Posted on Wednesday, January 30, 2013 at 9:03pm
  20. Hey, why NOT drive a bunch of scared teenagers to suicide? Great example of that “compassionate conservatism” again!

    Posted on Wednesday, January 30, 2013 at 9:04pm
  21. WHA???

    Posted on Wednesday, January 30, 2013 at 9:07pm
  22. Great.

    Posted on Wednesday, January 30, 2013 at 9:08pm
  23. This should not even be an issue…learn to except a person for who he/she is.

    Posted on Wednesday, January 30, 2013 at 9:12pm
  24. Oh but we for know why all I these kids are killing theirselves. Idiots :/

    Posted on Wednesday, January 30, 2013 at 9:17pm
  25. Just reading the wikipedia page on this guy is alll I need to know. This is one of a hanful of rediculously over the top bills we’ve seen from the GOP in the last week alone that are doing little more than pandering to their extreme bases. For people that want “smaller government” they sure are trying to micromanage every social aspect of our lives…

    Posted on Wednesday, January 30, 2013 at 9:25pm
  26. Tennessee is violating this law http://www2.ed.gov/about/offices/list/ocr/docs/shguide.html
    Although Title IX does not prohibit discrimination on the basis of sexual orientation, sexual harassment directed at gay or lesbian students that is sufficiently serious to limit or deny a student’s ability to participate in or benefit from the school’s program constitutes sexual harassment prohibited by Title IX under the circumstances described in this guidance.

    Tennessee lawmakers know they can get away with that because Secretary Arne Duncan refuses to enforce this law

    Posted on Wednesday, January 30, 2013 at 9:27pm
  27. Just when you think you have heard it all… Please share this poor baby, no dog should die because its possibly gay. THIS DOG WILL BE KILLED TOMORROW if its not rescued. http://www.examiner.com/article/tennessee-dog-dies-thursday-because-he-is-gay

    Posted on Wednesday, January 30, 2013 at 9:54pm
  28. All this will do is raise the suicide statistics…

    Posted on Wednesday, January 30, 2013 at 9:55pm
  29. Seriously this bullshit has got to stop! Suicide among glbtq teens is really high so why would you make them feel worthless. Typical republican party , they don’t support our rights just their own and their rich donors

    Posted on Wednesday, January 30, 2013 at 10:18pm
  30. GOP government small enough to fit in your bedroom and vagina. Now with extra Palin

    Posted on Wednesday, January 30, 2013 at 11:48pm