State Sen. Stacey Campfield has filed a bill that would discourage talking about homosexuality in schools, reigniting one of the Tennessee Capitol's most heated debates of recent years.
Campfield, R-Knoxville, has introduced a measure that would prohibit elementary and middle school teachers from bringing up homosexuality, and it would require guidance counselors to report to parents some conversations about their child's sexuality.
The bill, which Campfield has titled the "Classroom Protection Act," builds on the so-called "Don't Say Gay" bill that failed in the state legislature last spring. Opponents already are gearing up for another fight over the measure.
"It's kind of like 'Don't Say Gay' on steroids," said Chris Sanders, chairman and president of the Tennessee Equality Project. "He's listened to the objections and ended up making it worse."
Senate Bill 234 would once again bar educators from leading discussions about homosexuality before high school, though it would let teachers answer questions from students in the classroom and it would let school counselors talk about the subject with students one-on-one.
The new bill also adds a requirement that counselors inform the parents or guardians of the student if they determine that issues related to the child's sexuality "present immediate and urgent safety issues." The bill does not define what those issues are, but Campfield said almost any sexual act would qualify.
"Being gay is not a dangerous activity," he said. "The act of homosexuality is very dangerous to someone's health and safety."
Campfield has also introduced a bill to tie a family's welfare payments to their children's performance in schools.
You have to wonder just what damage was done to Stacey Campfield when he was a child that he's such a noxious person as an adult.