The bill's been labeled "don't say gay" because it prohibits teachers from discussing sexual orientations other than heterosexuality through 8th grade, even with kids who have gay family members. It also bans books and other materials that mention homosexuality.
The latest version of the bill also includes an amendment that gay rights sympathizers are interpreting as requiring teachers to tell parents if their child is gay or suspected of being gay.
The amendment allows school principals and other staff to mention homosexuality to students "engaging in, or may be at risk of engaging in, behavior injurious to the physical or mental health and well-being of the student or another person," according to the bill. However, the measure provides that "parents or legal guardians of such students shall be notified as soon as practicable of the circumstances requiring intervention."
The bill is sponsored by Sen. Stacey Campfield (R), who made headlines yesterday with a bill requiring kids to earn welfare payments with good grades. Campfield says he favors "tolerance" of homosexuality but not "acceptance," and is simply trying to ensure teachers "don't have to teach about homosexuality to your second-graders [and] can spend more time on arithmetic."