Friday, April 22, 2011
In the Knoxville News Sentinel, on Wednesday, April 20, the Tennessee Senate committee approved a bill that makes it illegal for teachers to discuss homosexuality in K-8 classrooms.
Oh, but it's OK to talk about heterosexuality:
As introduced, the bill would have put into law a declaration that it is illegal to discuss any sexual behavior other than heterosexuality prior to the ninth grade.
But when it came before the Senate Education Committee, Sen. Jim Tracy, R-Shelbyville, contended current law already prohibits such instruction by deeming it a misdemeanor to teach any sex education that is not part of the "family life curriculum" adopted by the state Board of Education.
Tracy proposed an amendment to rewrite Campfield's bill to require the Board of Education to study the issue and determine whether any teaching about homosexuality is occurring and, if so, recommend what should be done about it.
Campfield contends homosexuality is being discussed in classrooms. Spokesmen for the Board of Education and the state Department of Education told the committee they are unaware of any such activity.
The Tracy amendment passed over Campfield's objections.
But then Sen. Brian Kelsey, R-Germantown, proposed to change the Tracy amendment. The revision declares that, after its study to be completed by Feb. 1 of next year, the Board of Education "shall adopt" - as part of the family life curriculum - a ban on discussion of homosexuality in the same language used in Campfield's bill.
That amendment was adopted, too, and the revised bill was then approved 6-3 and sent to the Senate floor. All no votes came from Democrats.