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Back to March Ed Reporter

Education Reporter
NUMBER 266 THE NEWSPAPER OF EDUCATION RIGHTS MARCH 2008

Tennessee Law Would Limit Talk of Homosexuality in Schools
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Tennessee lawmakers are considering a bill that would prohibit teachers in public elementary and middle schools from teaching about homosexuality. Rep. Stacey Campfield (R-Knoxville) says he proposed the legislation in response to the National Education Association's advocacy of such teaching.

For example, at its 2007 national convention, the NEA again approved a resolution that "to facilitate the realization of human potential, it is the right of every individual to live in an environment of freely available information and knowledge about sexuality. . . . [Sex ed] programs should include information on sexual abstinence, birth control and family planning, diversity of culture, diversity of sexual orientation and gender identification, parenting skills, prenatal care, sexually transmitted diseases, incest, sexual abuse, sexual harassment, homophobia." (2007 Resolution B-47)

"I don't think our schools have reading, writing and arithmetic down enough to start teaching about transgenderism," said Campfield. The legislation would affect only classrooms up through 8th grade, leaving schools and districts free to choose curriculum or instruction about homosexuality at the high school level.

The bill's language states, "No public elementary or middle school shall permit any instruction or materials discussing sexual orientation other than heterosexuality." This language anticipates and hopes to avoid the possibility of lawsuits over the teaching of the science of reproduction, which necessarily involves heterosexuality. Campfield also said, "if I were to say 'Jack and Jill went up the hill' or 'George Washington and Martha Washington were husband and wife,' there are groups out there that would say we were pushing a heterosexual agenda." Campfield hopes his bill would instead simply require schools to leave out all discussion of homosexuality in the younger grades. (Knoxville News Sentinel, 2-13-08)


 
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