Even better, the law goes one step further in stomping out possible mentions of homosexuality. It also mandates that schools “counsel” children, and inform their parents of such counseling, if a child is believed to be gay or if you think they might have some gay tendencies that could manifest into gayness later in life. That’s right. Schools will be forced to monitor for and attempt to “treat” gayness.
First, let’s all just acknowledge that “counseling for gayness” does not exactly have a winning track record. In fact, it’s disgusting and often dangerous. The idea of ‘counseling’ young children who may or may not be homosexual is just awful.
Young kids are often still trying to figure out what their sexual orientation is. They are figuring out who they are as people. During these formative times, they do not need teachers or school counselors jumping in over what they perceive as “signs” or “clues” that a child might be homosexual. They definitely don’t need those educators contacting their parents and making a personal issue into a huge piece of drama.
Everything about this idea is simply ridiculous. It’s illogical and it doesn’t seem to do any good for anyone. It makes teachers in charge of finding and identifying children who might be gay, explicitly bringing the specter of sexual orientation into the classroom, which is what the original bill purported to be fighting against.
The original goal of the bill is pointless. Whether Tennessee legislators like it or not, gay people exist. Thankfully, our country has begun to realize that sexual orientation is a personal issue, one that shouldn’t affect how someone is treated as a person or what rights they have. We’re seeing more LGBTQ role models gaining prominence. We’re seeing more same-sex couples and parents in television and movies. There will likely be Tennessee students who have gay or lesbian parents. Those can’t will probably talk about their parents at school to their friends.
Sexual orientation is not something that we should have to ignore, though it is something that we need to stop worrying about. We need to get over it. Tennessee schools need to accept that homosexuality exists, kids are going to talk about it, but they shouldn’t have to discuss it with anyone before they’re ready.
This law is horrible on every front. And the only thing it will do is making middle school a little bit more unbearable for students who might be questioning their sexuality or trying to figure out who they are.