Home / News / Republican sponsored bill in Tennessee requires schools to 'out' gay kids to parents.
Republican sponsored bill in Tennessee requires schools to 'out' gay kids to parents.

Republican sponsored bill in Tennessee requires schools to 'out' gay kids to parents.

Back in April of 2012, Republican Senator Stacey Campfield introduced a bill into the Tennessee legislature which became known as the 'Don’t Say Gay' bill. In the bill, there were provisions that would prohibit teachers from bringing up anything connected with homosexuality through the eighth grade.

When asked about the bill, Campfield insisted he was not homophobic. Instead, he called the issue of homosexuality with respect to younger children 'complicated.' He also stated that teaching homosexuality will take away from time needed on core subjects, such as arithmetic.

The bill, SB234, died when the state assembly adjourned last year, but it appears to have been given new life, but with the new provision that requires teachers or guidance counselors to 'out' a student to their parents or guardians. He referred to potentially homosexual students to be 'at risk.'

ThinkProgress highlighted a portion of the bill, which can be found in its entirety here, as stating:

"The general assembly recognizes that certain subjects are particularly sensitive and are, therefore, best explained and discussed within the home. Because of its complex societal, scientific, psychological, and historical implications, human sexuality is one such subject. Human sexuality is best understood by children with sufficient maturity to grasp its complexity and implications."

"A school counselor, nurse, principal or assistant principal from counseling a student who is engaging in, or who may be at risk of engaging in, behavior injurious to the physical or mental health and well-being of the student or another person; provided, that wherever possible such counseling shall be done in consultation with the student’s parents or legal guardians. Parents or legal guardians of students who receive such counseling shall be notified as soon as practicable that such counseling has occurred."

As the report points out, LGBT youth face many obstacles, one of which is rejection by their families. On some occasions, homosexual youth are abandonded by their families, often resulting in living on the streets. It is estimated that as many as four out of every ten homeless youth are members of the LGBT community, and are more susceptible to depression. As well, the rate of suicide among this demographic is high.

SB 0234, also known as the 'Classroom Protection Act,' justifies the act of 'outing' a student by including the terminology,

"…certain subjects are particularly sensitive and are, therefore, best explained and discussed within the home."

It further states,

"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."

For more information, relevant links and commentary, please read the whole story here.

About Al Stefanelli

Al is a retired author, writer and journalist. His books include "Free Thoughts - A Collection Of Essays By An American Atheist" and "A Voice Of Reason In An Unreasonable World - The Rise Of Atheism On Planet Earth." Al began writing in 1985, starting with the New York Times. In 1993 he joined a McClatchy newspaper, writing a weekly column for ten years. His writing continues to be widely distributed on the Internet and in print. He also produced and hosted a weekly syndicated radio broadcast from 1995 to 1998, and his work won a North Carolina Journalism award in 1998. Al is the former Georgia State Director for American Atheists, Inc., and served on the Board of Directors for "The Clergy Project." He is also a former Southern Baptist Pastor, having served two churches and as pulpit supply for three counties. Currently, he writes part time for The God Discussion, co-hosts the Internet radio programs, "The God Discussion Show" and "Reap Sow Radio." Al lives in the Atlanta suburb of Peachtree City, GA.
Scroll To Top