Tag Archives: notification

Haslam Pans Gay Counseling Notification Bill

Legislation that would require school counselors to tell parents about their child’s homosexuality “isn’t getting much traction with Gov. Bill Haslam,” reports the Chattanooga TFP.
Haslam told Chattanooga Times Free Press editors and reporters Thursday that the legislation from Sen. Stacey Campfield, R-Knoxville, is a variation of the conservative firebrand’s previous so-called “don’t say gay” legislation.
“I know it’s kind of a revised form of a bill that came up last year,” Haslam said. “At the time I didn’t feel the bill last year was needed, and I don’t really think this one is needed either.”
Campfield defended his bill this week, telling the Knoxville News Sentinel “it’s ridiculous to say we should shield parents from that information” about homosexual activity, noting it can be dangerous because of AIDs and sexually-transmitted disease.
“I think it’s important that, if they’re doing something that’s potentially dangerous or life-threatening, that you should get parents involved,” he said.
Haslam said when he’s out speaking to people or groups like the Chattanooga Rotary Club, which he addressed earlier Thursday, “those aren’t the questions people ask me about, they’re not. People do ask me about what are you doing to bring more jobs here, what are you doing so our kids aren’t 40th in education.”
Jonathan Cole with the Tennessee Equality Project, a gay rights group, said Campfield’s bill “would force educators to ‘out’ students to their parents and risk family rejection before a student is ready to deal with issues of coming out.”
The gay rights group has fought previous versions of Campfield’s “don’t say gay” bill, which effectively seeks to ban classroom discussion of gay sex through eighth grade. The current legislation does that as well. While it doesn’t mention homosexuality, it refers to behavior “inconsistent with natural human reproduction.”
It then delves into counseling, saying the measure wouldn’t prevent a counselor, nurse, principal or assistant principal “from responding appropriately to a student whose circumstances present immediate and urgent safety issues involving human sexuality.

Campfield Bill: Don’t Teach Gay, Do Tell Parents

Sen. Stacey Campfield’s new version of legislation known as “don’t say gay” in past years allows counseling of students on homosexuality, but calls for notification of a youth’s parents when counseling occurs.
Campfield, R-Knoxville, has entitled the new bill, SB234, “Classroom Protection Act.” It generally prohibits in grades kindergarten through eight “classroom instruction, course materials or other informational resources that are inconsistent with natural human reproduction.”
Critics of similar past legislation have complained that teachers could be prohibited from answering questions or counseling troubled students if the topic involves homosexuality. The new bill explicitly excludes a teacher “answering in good faith” any questions related to the subject being taught and says school nurses, counselors, principals and assistant principals can counsel students.
But it also says, “Parents or legal guardians of students who receive such counseling shall be notified as soon as practicable that such counseling has occurred.” The provision has been widely criticized on several blogs as potentially creating situation that could discourage troubled students from seeking counseling when dealing with sexual abuse, bullying or even contemplation of suicide.
Campfield said, however, “it’s ridiculous to say we should shield parents from that information” about homosexual activity, which can be dangerous because of AIDs and sexually-transmitted disease.
“I think it’s important that, if they’re doing something that’s potentially dangerous or life-threatening, that you should get parents involved,” he said.
The Senate approved an earlier version of “don’t say gay” in 2011, but the bill later died in the House and never became law. Campfield said the new version is “completely different” and “gets rid of some of the old perceptions” about the legislation.