Bill to Prohibit Discussion of Gay Issues Dies


NASHVILLE (AP) – A measure that would have forced schools to tell parents if their children have talked to a teacher or counselor about being gay has failed this session.

The House version of that bill died in the House Education Subcommittee on Tuesday for lack of a second. The measure sought to prohibit classroom discussion of anything other than natural reproduction.

The House sponsor, Republican Rep. John Ragan of Oak Ridge, had planned to amend the legislation to require principals or counselors to identify students who might be a potential threat, but he never got a chance to do so.

The amended version would have been quite different than the Senate proposal, which sought to give schools the authority to inform parents about children who talk to school officials about their sexuality.

"I'm disappointed," Ragan said. "I thought it was a good bill. It was about school safety."

The Senate proposal was the latest version of the so-called "Don't Say Gay" bill that passed the Senate in 2011. The companion bill failed in the House last year.

Ragan said he plans to bring his version back next year. The companion bill's sponsor, Republican Sen. Stacey Campfield of Knoxville, did not immediately return a call to The Associated Press.

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