Students Protest ‘Don't Say Gay' Bill On Capitol Hill
NASHVILLE, Tenn. - A bill that would stop Tennessee teachers from talking about homosexuality in the classroom is up for a full Senate vote on Thursday morning. But the controversial piece of legislation may already be a thing of the past.
On Wednesday morning, dozens of local high school students came out to protest the ‘Don't Say Gay' Bill on Capitol Hill.
Some students believe if it ever passes, the bill could stop teachers from curbing bullying in the classroom, especially if the target is a gay student.
"Prevent teachers from effectively being able to combat bullying, since they wouldn't be able to provide support to students who are being bullied because of their sexual identification, or give students guidance when they are struggling with their sexual identity. So we are trying to give people the support they need, as well as the students who are facing these tough issues," said Brandon Holt.
State Senator Stacey Campfield has pushed this bill for six years. The bill would make it illegal for educators to discuss any sexual behavior apart from heterosexuality. Senators said it is unnecessary because existing laws that address this.
"Personally I don't see any reason to be doing this. It's one more situation where we are talking about politics, and we are trying to divide people rather than focus on what is best for our kids," said Sen. Andy Berke.
"There is a point here that there are certain topics that should be age appropriate and don't need to be taught in the lower grades, but is this going to move us towards education reform, no it's not," said Sen. Brian Kelsey.
Whether Senator Stacey Campfield's bill passes in the Senate, the "Don't Say Gay" bill is pretty much a dead issue this legislative session. The bill has already failed in the House.