Tags: gay | student | bill | tennessee

'Don't Say Gay' Bill Re-Filed in Tennessee

Thursday, 31 Jan 2013 11:49 AM

By Sandy Fitzgerald

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A Republican lawmaker in Tennessee has re-filed a controversial bill that prohibits teachers from discussing any sexual practices except for heterosexuality with their K-8 students, according to the Huffington Post.

State Sen. Stacy Campfield's proposed bill, nicknamed by some as the “Don't Say Gay” bill, calls for classroom instruction or materials that are "inconsistent with natural human reproduction” to be classified as inappropriate and prohibited.

The bill also adds a provision that could force school authorities to inform parents if their child is a homosexual, rather than allowing the child to come out on his or her own to family members. It also retains a ban on lesbian, gay, bisexual, or transgender (LGBT) discussions in classrooms.

A similar bill, officially called the “Classroom Protection Act,” was considered last year by the Tennessee General Assembly but was never put to a vote. Sponsors of the measure, however, said they planned to re-file it this year if “alternative lifestyles” were still being discussed in public schools.

According to Campfield's new bill, school authorities would be able to speak with a student about sexuality if the student is “engaging in, or may be at risk of engaging in, behavior injurious to the physical or mental health and well-being of the student or another person."

That provision, though, states that parents or legal guardians will be notified by school officials about their child's sexuality “as soon as practicable" if circumstances require intervention.

Tennessee isn't the only state to wrestle with a measure that would require school officials to inform parents about their children's sexuality. A similar bill died in the Missouri legislature last year after causing a stir.

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