The "Don't Say Gay" bill is back—and it's got a whole new clause sure to spark controversy. Tennessee state Sen. Stacey Campfield has introduced a revamped version of his "Classroom Protection Act," which forbids K-8 teachers from teaching anything that is "inconsistent with natural human reproduction," the Knoxville News Sentinel reports. To assuage fears that it would prevent teachers from counseling troubled students, it specifically excludes "answering in good faith" questions students ask. The issue? It requires that teachers report those conversations to parents.
The bill provoked an instant backlash from liberal outlets. Blogs like Think Progress pointed out that gay youth are often afraid—sometimes with reason—that their family will reject them, and the Tennessee Equality Project warned that it would "erode the trust between students and counselors." But Campfield isn't convinced. "It's ridiculous to say we should shield parents from that information," he said, calling homosexuality "potentially dangerous or life-threatening."
- Incidentally, if Campfield's name sounds familiar, you might be remembering the time he asserted that AIDS was a result of "one guy screwing a monkey," or his new headline-grabbing bill that would cut off welfare from parents based on their kids' grades.
(Read more Stacey Campfield