Tennessee GOP: Report Students Who Might Be Gay

A new provision added to Tennessee's proposed "Don't Say Gay" bill compels teachers to inform parents if they believe their child might be gay.

The bill, SB 234, still bars Tennessee teachers from discussing any facet of “non-heterosexual” sexuality with children in grades K-8. But the newest iteration also includes a provision requiring teachers or counselors to inform the parents of some students who identify themselves as LGBT. State Sen. Stacey Campfield (R), who authored the bill the first time around and again introduced it this time, calls out students who might be “at risk,” but leaves the interpretation of that behavior to the teacher.

Don't say gay, and don't discuss being gay with students, but please inform parents if you believe a student is "at risk" of being gay. To what end?

I have other questions.

What qualifies a teacher to make that judgement? What if they're wrong? What if they're right? What then? Why are potentially-gay students described as being "at risk" as if they're in danger of contracting a disease or falling behind in class?

More importantly -- how could anyone possibly think this is a good idea? It's a gross invasion of privacy. It's also creepy in that Tennessee could mandate that teachers study the sexuality of their K-8 students.

Will teachers receive a pay raise for yet another added duty to go along with watching out for gunmen and, you know, educating children? Is there any time left for education?

It's as if they want to be sued into oblivion by every rights organization in the country. As they should be if this passes.

  • mrbrink

    No word on the passage of a bill that teaches tolerance and empathy?

  • Victor_the_Crab

    Sen. Campfield also added ” Once the child has been identifird as a non-heterosexual, steps will be taken to insure that the child will become a future contributing member of heterosexual society, such as concentration camps behavior modification therapy (yeah, that’s it!). Success is 100% guaranteed or the final solution will be adminis….Uh, forget those last words.”

  • jeanne marie

    Maybe this is a generous interpretation of Sen Campfield’s statement, but I read it as: teachers need to contact parents of students who identify as LGBT if they think they are at risk (suicide, bullying?).

    What this doesn’t take into account though, of course, is the student who is afraid to come out to his/her parents because he/she is at risk of harm from them.

    • IrishGrrrl

      Good point. It’s not unheard of to see a kid beaten by their parents or abandoned by them because they found out he/she was gay.