‘Don’t Say Gay’ may become part of new sex education bill

'Don't Say Gay' may become part of new sex education bill (Image 1)

The bill that some call “Don't Say Gay” could soon change into a measure that rewrites the state's sex education laws.

The new sex education bill sponsored by Nashville Republican representative Jim Gotto could be introduced in a House Education Sub-Committee Wednesday morning according to Chair Joey Hensley who sponsors “Don't Say Gay.”

In the House Education Committee, Rep. Bill Dunn identified the bill as HB 3621, but indicated some changes will be made to how it is currently written.

Rep. Hensley, who is a physician from Hohenwald, told reporters after the committee that the new sex education bill “redoes a lot of the code and it should cover” a ban on teaching homosexuality in grades kindergarten through eighth grade that critics call “Don't Say Gay.”

Hensley said his bill will be on hold until he sees what happens to the sex education measure.

The American Civil Liberties Union said it would likely oppose to the new measure.

“This prevents school personnel, educators, social workers from being able confront real problems in school setting,” explained Hedy Weinberg of the local ACLU chapter.

Weinberg cites one of those problems as bullying which she links to a few recent suicides of gay Middle Tennessee students, but some lawmakers say they are just seeking clarity with a broader bill.

“[The new sex education bill] might be able to make sense out of the whole code so we know what we can or can't do in schools,” Rep. Bill Dunn told the House Education Committee.

Click here to read more on HB 3621.

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