"Don't Say Gay": Tennessee Schools Could Ban Gay Talk
The state Senate in Tennessee is set to vote on a bill that would ban any talk of homosexuality in public schools. Teachers could be fired or lose their tenure if they violate the possible law.
The bill, known as "Don't Say Gay" passed the Senate Education Committee last week by a 6-3 vote. It would prohibit schools from "the teaching or furnishing of materials on human sexuality other than heterosexuality in public school grades K-8."
Fox News reports that the bill's author, St. Sen. Stacey Campfield, has been working on this measure for several years, but only now is it advancing because there is a Republican governor, and the GOP controls both houses of the legislature.
Campfield said the bill is designed to stop gay rights activists from pushing their agenda in the classroom. He said "several" teachers have told him that they are teaching their students about homosexuality.
"Schools shouldn't be advocating for or against homosexuality," he said.
The Tennessee Equality Project, a gay rights organization, is outraged.
"We believe it's a ploy to advance a social agenda into the classroom," Chairman Jonathan Cole told FoxNews.com. "And we think it will create an unsafe environment for kids who may be gay, lesbian, transgender or just have questions."
Cole said the bill could make the growing problem of bullying even worse.
"So if they witness a kid being bullied because of sexual orientation, how will they be able to deal with that?" he said.
Campfield insisted that the bill would not prevent schools from addressing bullying. He said it's all about families deciding what kind of sex education their children receive.
"This is stopping the advocating of one point of view over another," he said.