Monday, April 15, 2024

Tennessee House Passes Bill to Ban LGBT Pride Flags from Public Schools

'What we're doing is making sure parents are the ones who are allowed to instill in their children the values they want to instill...'

(Headline USA) The Tennessee House voted this week to ban LGBT flags and other “political” flags from public schools in the state.

The bill, which passed the chamber in a 70-24 vote, would prohibit “displaying” flags that “represent a political viewpoint, including but not limited to, a partisan, racial, sexual orientation, gender, or other ideological viewpoint … anywhere students may see the object.”

It also specified that the only flags public schools may display are the U.S. flag, the Tennessee flag, historical flags, Native American tribe flags, local government flags, other countries’ flags and college/university flags, according to the Tennessean.

Schools caught violating this law would be subject to lawsuits by parents or guardians of students who attend or are eligible to attend.

State Rep. Gino Bulso, the bill’s sponsor, said he introduced it after hearing complaints from parents about “political flags” being displayed in their students’ classrooms.

“What we’re doing is making sure parents are the ones who are allowed to instill in their children the values they want to instill,” Bulso said.

Debate over the bill was heated, with at least two Democrats who opposed it being kicked out of the gallery for talking over the proceedings.

“I am proud when I walk into the public schools in my city, to see the LGBTQ flag in the classrooms, proudly put up by teachers who understand the suffering that many of their students go through,” Democrat state Rep. Jason Powell yelled before being escorted out. “We should be welcoming and celebrating our students, not hating on them.”

Bulso responded by pointing out that parents who want to teach their children about LGBT issues are not being prevented from doing so by this bill.

“If you have parents across the state who want to instill in their children values represented by the [LGBT] pride flag, they are certainly entitled to do that,” he said. “On the other hand, if you have parents who want to instill values in their children that are not consistent with the values represented by the pride flag, they have the ability to do that.”

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