NASHVILLE, Tenn. (AP) -- A bill passed Friday by the Tennessee Senate would forbid public school teachers and students in grades kindergarten through eight from discussing the fact that some people are gay.
Opponents deride the measure as the "don't say gay bill." They say it's unfair to the children of gay parents and could lead to more bullying. Supporters say it is intended to give teachers clear guidance for dealing with younger children on a potentially explosive topic.
The bill isn't likely to be taken up by the House before lawmakers adjourn this spring, but the sponsor there has said he would push it forward in 2012 when the General Assembly comes back for the second year of the session. [...]
Under the proposal, any instruction or materials at a public elementary or middle school would be limited to age-appropriate lessons about the science of human reproduction.
The legislation was amended from the original version, which said no elementary or middle schools will "provide any instruction or material that discusses sexual orientation other than heterosexuality." Republican Senate sponsor Stacey Campfield of Knoxville said some of his colleagues were uncomfortable with that language.
Now, it may surprise some of you, but I could see this as something that could be used in a bad way. On the other hand--why are children in K-8 in need of any discussions about sex other than those involving "the science of human reproduction?" Do we really want to encourage 12 or 13-year-olds, let alone younger children, to engage in sexual activity, experimentation, etc?
Since I'm not up to a lengthy post today: you take it from here. Tell me this is a good idea, and why; or tell me it's a bad one, and why. I'll try to check in with the comments tomorrow--or later tonight if, like what my children call my "vampire headaches," this thing leaves me at sundown.