Latest in this post Tennessee school gay ban ditched
You may have read about the Tennessee legislator Stacey Campfield (R-Knoxville), who has introduced a bill to ban free expression about homosexuality, transgender issues and who knows what else in Tennessee schools. Given the recent tragedy in Oxnard of the killing of junior high student Larry King by a fellow classmate, not to mention the high suicide rate for gay youth, the timing is extremely bad and the issue is very important. We need to be promoting education about gender and sexuality issues appropriately for student age levels.
Doing a bit of a background check on Mr. Campfield, one finds that he is considered a strange character even in Tennessee. An unmarried 40 year old (umm hmm), his bio lists an Associate Degree in Marketing and a B.S. in Management both from an institution that claims to be the first virtual university, Excelsior College. (Except on his Tennessee legislative bio he has misspelled the name of the college, among other things.) So his education is an internet degree. Yow. He also lists being a ‘Christian’ as a qualification on his official bio.
Perusing local news from Tennessee, it’s quickly plain that he is viewed as a gadfly and spoiler rather than a serious leader. The Knoxville Metropulse calls him a thorn in the side of both Democrats and Republicans. For one thing, he has less a command of the language than even our Dear Leader Dubyah. He has been removed from a political event for heckling the Governor of the state. He created a stir trying to join the state’s Black Caucus (to disrupt it). And believe it or not, in the wake of the NIU shooting he proposes to arm University employees.
This is not the first time Mr. Campfield has tried to restrict education of Tennessee students. Back in 2005 Mr. Campfield sponsored legislation proposed by a conservative university student organization that would have set up a grievance and discipline process for University of Tennessee students who were bothered in classes by discussion of issues they opposed.
The ACLU opposed the bill stating “This so-called academic bill of rights is truly a misnomer, as it really is an academic bill of restrictions. There would be a chilling effect on freedom of inquiry on Tennessee’s public university campuses.”
It didn’t pass.
The upshot of this is that it seems that Mr. Campfield’s proposal to squelch mention of any gay or gender issues in Tennessee schools is no slam dunk.
If you’d like to learn more about lobbying against this bill in the TN General Assembly, go to www.tnep.org. Join the Tennessee Equality Project for Advancing Equality Day on the Hill in Nashville on Tuesday February 19th.