School Counselors Don’t Like “Don’t Say Gay”

School counselors don’t like the so-called “Don’t Say Gay” bill, reports the Tennessean.
Counselors wonder if the bill, for example, would ban:
Posting suicide prevention posters that reference sexual orientation.
Gay teachers from displaying or discussing photos of their partners.
Discussions of sexuality with parents who ask about their children.
Thoughtful exploration of episodes in which students are targeted with homosexual epithets.
There’s also a Tennessean editorial against the bill in Monday’s paper.
…The bill also could affect training that dozens of Metro school staffers have taken part in since the start of the school year. Just Monday, about 100 staffers sat through training about sexual orientation and gender identity.
The session, part of a new training program the district put in place for counselors and social workers, was hosted by the Gay, Lesbian and Straight Education Network. Adults were asked questions about their own knowledge and feelings about sexual orientation and were given recommendations for how to answer student questions. They also were given stickers and posters declaring “safe spaces” in schools.
Much of what they’ve learned could go by the wayside if the legislation passes, said Bagwell and GLSEN spokesman Brad Palmertree.
“I think we would be limited in our resources,” Bagwell said. “We would have to think differently about how we support those students.”
GLSEN provided a copy of its 48-page “Safe Space Kit,” which recommends that school staffers “ask questions that demonstrate understanding, acceptance and compassion” when a student discloses sexual orientation to them.

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