In the Columbia Tribune yesterday, teachers were given the chance to address the "Don't Say Gay" hate bill pushed by Rep. Steve Cookson (R-Bigotry). Long story short, they're vehemently against it.
Limiting conversations such as the discussion in his class, [Tony Gragnani] said, would be unfair to students. "I think it's part of our society. Students should be allowed to discuss issues that are prevalent in their world and happening around them," he said.
At Rock Bridge, Dan Ware, who teaches social studies, said sexual orientation is not a planned lesson for any of his courses, but the subject will come up in classes such as contemporary issues or American history. The irony of the bill, he said, is it would prohibit discussion of civic issues, such as the bill itself, that deal with homosexuality. In American history, conversations about events such as the gay rights movement in the 1970s would be stifled, he said.
"Do I just ignore that happened because a law says we're not allowed to talk about it anymore?" he said. "When I look at this bill, I think silencing any sort of topics or issues like this is the antithesis of the purpose of education."
The bill's prohibition on discussion in extracurricular activities would affect groups such as the gay-straight alliance, said Betsy Jones, Rock Bridge director of guidance.
"It's important for us to have a safe environment for all of our students. The opportunity for us to have that club provides a space for our students who are LGBTQ or what we call allies," she said.