A story on FoxNews.com about Knoxville Republican state Sen. Stacey Campfield’s effort to prohibit teachers from discussing “human sexuality other than heterosexuality in public school grades K-8” is among the news site’s most read and commented-upon stories of the day.
As of this posting at 2:30 CDT it was approaching 5000 comments.
Campfield’s bill, SB49, is scheduled for a floor vote in the Senate on Thursday.
From the Fox story:
Campfield told FoxNews.com that he has gotten hundreds of letter from around the world that are either hate-filled or asking him why he proposed the bill.
“Schools shouldn’t be advocating for or against homosexuality,” he said.
The Tennessee Equality Project, a gay-rights organization, condemned the bill.
“We believe it’s a ploy to advance a social agenda into the classroom,” Chairman Jonathan Cole told FoxNews.com. “And we think it will create an unsafe environment for kids who may be gay, lesbian, transgender or just have questions.”
Cole took issue with how broad the bill is written, arguing that it effectively prohibits all educators, including guidance counselors, from talking about homosexuality with students.
“So if they witness a kid being bullied because of sexual orientation, how will they be able to deal with that?” he said, adding that the bill would increase the risk of suicide among gay children.
“Why is it that legislators are trying to micromanage curriculum?” he said, charging Campfield with failing to produce evidence that this is a problem in schools. “Why don’t they leave it to local schools boards?”
But Campfield said his bill won’t prevent educators from addressing bullying and that families should ultimately decide when their kids should receive sex education.
“This is stopping the advocating of one point of view over another,” he said.