Thursday, January 31, 2013

The Jesse Helms of the Tennessee statehouse, GOP Sen. Stacey Campfield, is now trying to force teachers to out gay kids to homophobic parents

Some background: Campfield tried to pass a “Don’t Say Gay” for two years that prohibited schools from discussing homosexuality, specifically during sex ed classes up to the eighth grade. After passing in the house, his bill died in the Senate when lawmakers finally realized that Tennessee public schools don’t have sex education classes until after eighth grade.

Now Campfield, whose political ambitions are evidently hitched to homophobic political pandering, has introduced SB 0234, the “Classroom Protection Act,” with reworked "Don't Say Gay" language:  “certain subjects are particularly sensitive and are, therefore, best explained and discussed within the home.” There is also a sneaky provision requiring teachers to out gay students, even if their parents are violently homophobic and inclined to kick them to the curb upon receipt of such disclosure.

David Badash, of The New Civil Rights Movement, explains how the stealthy provisions of SB 0234 will work, in practice:
LEA (local education agency) policies and procedures adopted pursuant to this section shall not prohibit:
(1) Any instructor from answering in good faith any question or series of questions, germane and material to the course, asked of the instructor and initiated by a student or students enrolled in the course;
So, this “good faith” scenario is enshrined into law:
Student: Is homosexuality natural?
Teacher: No.
Then, two long sections that easily are interpreted to include a scenario where a student approaches a trusted teacher, says they think they might be gay, lesbian, bisexual, or transgender:
Parents or legal guardians of students who receive such counseling shall be notified as soon as practicable that such counseling has occurred.
Here are ten other offensive things about Stacey Campfield you may not know.

Stacey has also introduced a bill to penalize households on public assistance with kids who get bad grades (see video below) and has, in the past tried to pass legislation mandating drug testing for welfare recipients, even though a similar Florida program cost more than it saved.

No comments:

Post a Comment