T Nation

Don't Say Gay...

…or you might lose your job!

http://www.foxnews.com/politics/2011/04/26/tennessee-considers-banning-teaching-homosexuality-elementary-schools/

[quote]Public school teachers in Tennessee could lose their tenure or their jobs for discussing homosexuality with their students under a new bill.

The state Senate will soon vote on a bill, known as “Donâ??t Say Gay,” that would prohibit educators from “the teaching or furnishing of materials on human sexuality other than heterosexuality in public school grades K-8.”

The Senate Education Committee passed the bill last week, 6-3.

The author of the bill, state Sen. Stacey Campfield, has been trying to advance the bill for several years as member of the House. But he only got momentum when Republicans won control of the governor’s mansion, House and Senate in November for the first time since the Civil War-era.

Campfield said his bill aims to stop gay-rights activists from pushing their agenda in the classroom. He cited children’s programming that taught homosexuality and said “several” teachers have informed him that they’re already teaching the material.

He also cited cases in Massachusetts and California. In Lexington, Mass., the first U.S. state to legalize same-sex marriage, a couple sued after their 5-year-old son brought home a book from kindergarten that described a gay family. Another couple joined the lawsuit after a second-grade teacher read the class a fairy tale about two princes falling in love.

A federal judge though, threw out the lawsuit in 2007 saying that parents’ rights to exercise their religious beliefs are not violated when their children are exposed to contrary ideas in school. The Supreme Court refused to take up the case.

In California, schools have addressed topics such as gay households, homophobia and sexual orientation for years in an effort to battle anti-gay discrimination. Children as young as 5 are taught about gay issues in some school districts.

“It doesn’t take a rocket scientist to figure out what’s coming,” Campfield said.

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.[/quote]

I know some idiots on this board might claim that elementary school kids are too young but the reality is that:

  1. They already know about homosexuality.
  2. Making the topic off limits has a very clear implication that there is something wrong with being gay.
  3. Many students, including elementary students come from households with gay people, including parents who are gay.

This is bigotry, pure and simple.

Although I’d like to think this bill would fail a constitutional challenge in court.

[quote]Makavali wrote:

This is bigotry, pure and simple.[/quote]

No, this is an attempt to get the school curriculum focused on what education should be about - and less about a therapeutic curriculum.

In other words, if you leave this topic out (and topics like it), you get more students getting smarter on math, science, civics, English, and history and that way, they turn out as informed citizens with broad-based knowledge and critical thinking skills - you know, the opposite of you.

Yeah, you’d “like to”, but do you actually have a theory as to why it would?

I mean, I get that you come from the mindset that “unconstitutional = something I don’t like and that’s reason enough!”, but that ain’t the case.

Next up, no discussing of vegetarians, or the Vietnam war.

[quote]USMCpoolee wrote:
Next up, no discussing of vegetarians, or the Vietnam war.[/quote]

Thomas Jefferson too, because that evil cocksucker coined the phrase “separation of Church and state.”

And Muslims too. Don’t talk about Muslims. Cause in Amurrricah we hate them Muslims.

Also, might as well make sure the word “tax” doesn’t reach an innocent youngin’s ears until at least his early twenties.

Just as long as no one says the word “communitarian” I’ll be fine. I disagree with their lifestyle.

[quote]byukid wrote:
Just as long as no one says the word “communitarian” I’ll be fine. I disagree with their lifestyle.[/quote]

But it is really hard to disparage dirty smelly hippies without mentioning them.

[quote]thunderbolt23 wrote:

[quote]Makavali wrote:

This is bigotry, pure and simple.[/quote]

No, this is an attempt to get the school curriculum focused on what education should be about - and less about a therapeutic curriculum.
[/quote]

That’s a cute rationalization, but it’s utter bullshit. Read the article, which makes it explicitly clear that this move is about homosexuality and individuals’ beliefs that it shouldn’t be made familiar to children. Implicitly, because it will somehow corrupt them.

This isn’t about “getting back to education.” If it were, why not ban talking about baseball too? Baseball is surely not as important as math and science. And it is surely less important for people aspiring to one day become participants in civil society and political debate to learn about baseball than it is to learn about homosexuality, which will undoubtedly be a hot-button political issue as long as there are homophobic bigots (like the ones behind this bill) in power.

What about rye bread? Surely there is no place in the classroom for the discussion of rye bread. It cannot be more important than math and science.

Don’t tell me this is about a concern for education (as if anyone in Tennessee gives a fuck about education in the first place). It is about the fear that children made familiar with homosexuality will be more likely to fall to “the evil gayness.” Now, you can argue, if you’d like, that this bill’s makers are right in their assumption that children should be kept away from homosexuality. But don’t try to mask the real issue here.

[quote]Makavali wrote:
…or you might lose your job!

[quote]Public school teachers in Tennessee could lose their tenure or their jobs for discussing homosexuality with their students under a new bill.

The state Senate will soon vote on a bill, known as “Donâ??t Say Gay,” that would prohibit educators from “the teaching or furnishing of materials on human sexuality other than heterosexuality in public school grades K-8.”

The Senate Education Committee passed the bill last week, 6-3.

The author of the bill, state Sen. Stacey Campfield, has been trying to advance the bill for several years as member of the House. But he only got momentum when Republicans won control of the governor’s mansion, House and Senate in November for the first time since the Civil War-era.

Campfield said his bill aims to stop gay-rights activists from pushing their agenda in the classroom. He cited children’s programming that taught homosexuality and said “several” teachers have informed him that they’re already teaching the material.

He also cited cases in Massachusetts and California. In Lexington, Mass., the first U.S. state to legalize same-sex marriage, a couple sued after their 5-year-old son brought home a book from kindergarten that described a gay family. Another couple joined the lawsuit after a second-grade teacher read the class a fairy tale about two princes falling in love.

A federal judge though, threw out the lawsuit in 2007 saying that parents’ rights to exercise their religious beliefs are not violated when their children are exposed to contrary ideas in school. The Supreme Court refused to take up the case.

In California, schools have addressed topics such as gay households, homophobia and sexual orientation for years in an effort to battle anti-gay discrimination. Children as young as 5 are taught about gay issues in some school districts.

“It doesn’t take a rocket scientist to figure out what’s coming,” Campfield said.

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.[/quote]

I know some idiots on this board might claim that elementary school kids are too young but the reality is that:

  1. They already know about homosexuality.
  2. Making the topic off limits has a very clear implication that there is something wrong with being gay.
  3. Many students, including elementary students come from households with gay people, including parents who are gay.

This is bigotry, pure and simple.

Although I’d like to think this bill would fail a constitutional challenge in court.[/quote]

Curriculum should be up to local control. I taught science in the most liberal Boulder Valley School district and the district curriculum prohibited me from discussing “human sexuality” even in a biology class. The district chose to restrict human sexuality to specific elective classes. We all got memo’s every year stating that we could not teach about human sexuality as part of curriculum.

However I talked with kids individually or in small groups about whatever they wanted to talk about which could include religion, or homosexuality or about anything.

but I would not have done so when I taught in middle school.

The ultimate result of schools teaching about homosexuality in non-elective classes, and before highschool is that it will continue the push for vouchers which I now think is inevitable. Public schools are in such bad shape. They will have to start issuing emergency licenses to people with associates degrees for sure within the decade. You will get one great teacher and 3 idiots working together, and all getting paid the same soon. Then that 1 teacher wont take it any more.

In my opinion, so called “indoctrination” is not what some suggest it to be. Its minimal and isolated, and principals shut it down even in liberal districts because it only takes 1 kid in a class of 30 to complain. Nevertheless we’ll have substantial vouchers within 10 years and public schools will only have troublemakers, special education kids, and primarily kids in the lower 2/3.

[quote]byukid wrote:
Just as long as no one says the word “communitarian” I’ll be fine. I disagree with their lifestyle.[/quote]

Just curious , are you joking or what is your objection ?

I have to tell you I would not be sending my kids to any school that taught anything about homosexuality in elementary school. That seems just crazy to me. Now I know a lot of you enlightened 22 year olds who have never been married, had any children (or even a full time job) disagree with me. So I know I’m on the right track.

:slight_smile:

[quote]ZEB wrote:
I have to tell you I would not be sending my kids to any school that taught anything about homosexuality in elementary school. That seems just crazy to me. Now I know a lot of you enlightened 22 year olds who have never been married, had any children (or even a full time job) disagree with me. So I know I’m on the right track.

:)[/quote]

I assume you are alluding to me here, at least partially. You will notice from my above post that I did not make an attempt to either condemn or condone the move. I instead took issue with someone’s attempt to misrepresent the underlying concern, which is quite obviously with homosexuality and not with lack of math or science acumen.

I’m not entirely sure I’d want elementary schoolers talking about homosexuality–or any other kind of sexuality–either. I think children need to learn about it (and not from older children screaming the word ‘faggot’ during recess), but I don’t pretend to know enough about children or childhood development to know what the right age is.

But might as well call a spade a spade. This is about people not wanting their children exposed to homosexuality in school. I’m not saying that is right or wrong, just that that is what is being talked about here.

[quote]ZEB wrote:
I have to tell you I would not be sending my kids to any school that taught anything about homosexuality in elementary school. That seems just crazy to me. Now I know a lot of you enlightened 22 year olds who have never been married, had any children (or even a full time job) disagree with me. So I know I’m on the right track.

:)[/quote]

Also, it might be convenient for you to talk about elementary school (after all, no one wants their kids talking about sex at age 6) but this bill prohibits mention of homosexuality up to and including 8th grade.

You think 13 year-olds don’t know what homosexuality is? You think they aren’t familiar with the term ‘faggot’? I was a camp counselor and heard 7 year-olds using the word ‘gay’ and seeming to have a solid grasp of its meaning.

No, its quite obvious that its OK for kids to know about gays. As long as they hate them.

The ‘danger’ of a teaching kids about homosexuals is that it might make them more tolerant of homosexuality. That is what people are afraid of here. That and the ridiculous notion that some otherwise straight kid might hear Mr. Middle School Teacher mention a homosexual couple and run off in search of a cock to suck.

[quote]smh23 wrote:

[quote]thunderbolt23 wrote:

[quote]Makavali wrote:

This is bigotry, pure and simple.[/quote]

No, this is an attempt to get the school curriculum focused on what education should be about - and less about a therapeutic curriculum.
[/quote]

That’s a cute rationalization, but it’s utter bullshit. Read the article, which makes it explicitly clear that this move is about homosexuality and individuals’ beliefs that it shouldn’t be made familiar to children. Implicitly, because it will somehow corrupt them.

This isn’t about “getting back to education.” If it were, why not ban talking about baseball too? Baseball is surely not as important as math and science. And it is surely less important for people aspiring to one day become participants in civil society and political debate to learn about baseball than it is to learn about homosexuality, which will undoubtedly be a hot-button political issue as long as there are homophobic bigots (like the ones behind this bill) in power.

What about rye bread? Surely there is no place in the classroom for the discussion of rye bread. It cannot be more important than math and science.

Don’t tell me this is about a concern for education (as if anyone in Tennessee gives a fuck about education in the first place). It is about the fear that children made familiar with homosexuality will be more likely to fall to “the evil gayness.” Now, you can argue, if you’d like, that this bill’s makers are right in their assumption that children should be kept away from homosexuality. But don’t try to mask the real issue here.[/quote]

This is dumb for a number of reasons, but the point is this: human sexuality is a sensitive and complicated issue, and parents aren’t outsourcing the responsibility for explaining it to K-8 teachers.

Moreover, society has not reached a consensus on these issues, so let’s stop pretending that public school teachers should be teaching something that isn’t.

If a teacher is taking the time to try and address sexuality in class, it’s a distraction from what the teacher should be teaching. And this topic doesn’t rightly fall into any topic that should be addressed in a K-8 setting - any teacher raising it would be doing it with an agenda in mind outside the scope of his/her job.

There’s a time and a place for “debating hot button issues” - during the time that K-8’ers should be getting reading, writing and figuring down, that ain’t the time. This may hurt the precious, precious feelings of the tolerance-worshipping hipsters of the world - to which there is no more important thing to learn than “tolerance”, all else appears to be secondary - but no sane person cares.

At any rate, what do you know about Tennessee’s educational system? I’d love to hear it.

Given the low wattage of your posts, I’m not sure you’ve earned the right to criticize an educational system until you apologize for the one that spawned you.

[quote]thunderbolt23 wrote:

[quote]smh23 wrote:

[quote]thunderbolt23 wrote:

[quote]Makavali wrote:

This is bigotry, pure and simple.[/quote]

No, this is an attempt to get the school curriculum focused on what education should be about - and less about a therapeutic curriculum.
[/quote]

That’s a cute rationalization, but it’s utter bullshit. Read the article, which makes it explicitly clear that this move is about homosexuality and individuals’ beliefs that it shouldn’t be made familiar to children. Implicitly, because it will somehow corrupt them.

This isn’t about “getting back to education.” If it were, why not ban talking about baseball too? Baseball is surely not as important as math and science. And it is surely less important for people aspiring to one day become participants in civil society and political debate to learn about baseball than it is to learn about homosexuality, which will undoubtedly be a hot-button political issue as long as there are homophobic bigots (like the ones behind this bill) in power.

What about rye bread? Surely there is no place in the classroom for the discussion of rye bread. It cannot be more important than math and science.

Don’t tell me this is about a concern for education (as if anyone in Tennessee gives a fuck about education in the first place). It is about the fear that children made familiar with homosexuality will be more likely to fall to “the evil gayness.” Now, you can argue, if you’d like, that this bill’s makers are right in their assumption that children should be kept away from homosexuality. But don’t try to mask the real issue here.[/quote]

This is dumb for a number of reasons, but the point is this: human sexuality is a sensitive and complicated issue, and parents aren’t outsourcing the responsibility for explaining it to K-8 teachers.
[/quote]

Yeah genius, that IS the point. I’d applaud you for getting it right but for the fact that in your original post you claimed that this wasn’t the issue. You instead so eloquently asserted that the bill was about students “getting smarter on math, science, civics, English, and history.”

[Incidentally, homosexuality plays into civics, English (in literature), and obviously history courses. But that is another argument]

So, since you just above posted that it’s really about “human sexuality” as a “sensitive and complicated issue” that must not be outsourced to schools, I take it that you rescind your initial argument.

Perhaps your public school teachers should have explained to you the concept of consistency.

[quote]smh23 wrote:

Yeah genius, that IS the point. I’d applaud you for getting it right but for the fact that in your original post you claimed that this wasn’t the issue. You instead so eloquently asserted that the bill was about students “getting smarter on math, science, civics, English, and history.”[/quote]

This makes no sense. The point is to get discussion of homosexuality out of the classroom so teachers can focus on these other subjects. That will make the kids smarter in those subjects, because instead of indulging the agenda of the self-appointed tolerance warrior-slash-teacher, the kids will be zeroed in on the subjects. You don’t make sense.

No, it doesn’t. Homosexuality is barely a blip in any of the meaningful humanities. Amy kid is a civics or history class learning about homosexuality is having his time wasted.

What is to rescind? What are you talking about? My argument has always been the same - I have no objection to impressing upon public school teachers that they are to focus on the substantive subjects they are supposed to teach and leave sensitive and unsettled topics regarding sexuality out of the classroom. You’re hallucinating.

[quote]thunderbolt23 wrote:

[quote]smh23 wrote:

Yeah genius, that IS the point. I’d applaud you for getting it right but for the fact that in your original post you claimed that this wasn’t the issue. You instead so eloquently asserted that the bill was about students “getting smarter on math, science, civics, English, and history.”[/quote]

This makes no sense. The point is to get discussion of homosexuality out of the classroom so teachers can focus on these other subjects. That will make the kids smarter in those subjects, because instead of indulging the agenda of the self-appointed tolerance warrior-slash-teacher, the kids will be zeroed in on the subjects. You don’t make sense.

No, it doesn’t. Homosexuality is barely a blip in any of the meaningful humanities. Amy kid is a civics or history class learning about homosexuality is having his time wasted.

What is to rescind? What are you talking about? My argument has always been the same - I have no objection to impressing upon public school teachers that they are to focus on the substantive subjects they are supposed to teach and leave sensitive and unsettled topics regarding sexuality out of the classroom. You’re hallucinating.[/quote]

I’m simply stating that this is more than a pragmatic push to raise math and science scores among publicly-educated children (you characterized it as such in your first post). You seem to agree with me on this. It’s about homosexuality as a sensitive political issue.

As I stated in my original post: if it were simply about buying more time to focus on science lessons, there would need to be a hell of a lot more than just homosexuality rendered verboten.

[quote]smh23 wrote:

I’m simply stating that this is more than a pragmatic push to raise math and science scores among publicly-educated children (you characterized it as such in your first post). You seem to agree with me on this. It’s about homosexuality as a sensitive political issue.[/quote]

They are one and the same, dumbass - you can’t improve real educational issues - improving math and science scores - if you have teachers trying to push sensitive political issues on children.

It is a pragmatic push - as the bill’s sponsor said, teachers wouldn’t talk for or against homosexuality…they’d just not talk at all about it.

No, there wouldn’t - but whatever the next topic du jour that came up that was a sensitive political issue that teachers suddenly felt the need to “instruct”, that would be addressed. If there was some other topic preventing the teaching of the real subject, that would be addressed.

Don’t try to make unlike things alike.

[quote]pittbulll wrote:

[quote]byukid wrote:
Just as long as no one says the word “communitarian” I’ll be fine. I disagree with their lifestyle.[/quote]

Just curious , are you joking or what is your objection ?[/quote]

I am very much joking.

Why are schools even talking about this at all, isn’t this you know, the parents job.

[quote]byukid wrote:

[quote]pittbulll wrote:

[quote]byukid wrote:
Just as long as no one says the word “communitarian” I’ll be fine. I disagree with their lifestyle.[/quote]

Just curious , are you joking or what is your objection ?[/quote]

I am very much joking.[/quote]

Glad to hear it, you never know . People believe that being open minded is bad and being altruistic is bad . It is hard for me to grasp :slight_smile: