Tenn.'s 'Don't Say Gay' Bill Back and It Could Out Students to Their Parents
By Christopher Rudolph
Originally published on Advocate.com January 30 2013 5:30 PM ET
Like a homophobic phoenix, the "Don’t Say Gay" bill has risen from the ashes to "protect the youth of Tennessee" — and it includes a provision requiring teachers out gay students to their parents.
Tennessee state senator Stacey Campfield has reintroduced his infamous legislation that would prohibit schools from discussing homosexuality in sex education classes until after the eighth grade (even though schools in Tennessee do not teach sex ed before the eighth grade).
After dying in the House two years ago, the bill, now called the Classroom Protection Act, is back with additions such as “certain subjects are particularly sensitive and are, therefore, best explained and discussed within the home,” and “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.” That will likely bar any teacher from even suggesting homosexuality exists.
The bill also now states that when a student approaches a teacher or counselor and confides in them that they may be gay, it is the teacher or counselor’s responsibility to tell the student’s parents.