Bill Haslam | Education | News | Stacey Campfield | Tennessee

Tennessee Governor: 'Don't Say Gay' Bill Will 'Probably Never Pass'

In an interview with Nashville City Paper, Tennessee Governor Bill Haslam admits that Stacey Campfield's "Don't Say Gay" bill which forbids discussion of homosexuality in schools and was passed by one-half of the state's legislature in Spring before the other half adjourned without addressing it, is likely doomed:

Haslam The governor complained that the media paid little attention to the appointment of the first superintendent of the Tennessee’s Achievement Student District, an attempt to turn around the state’s lowest-performing schools. At the same time, reporters closely watched the “Don’t Say Gay” bill to ban the mention of homosexuality before the ninth grade in Tennessee’s public schools.

“The ‘Don’t Say Gay’ bill didn’t pass and probably is never going to pass. At the same time, we hired Chris Barbic to run the Achievement School District, which is a huge deal. That got this much attention,” the governor said, holding his fingers an inch apart. “ ‘Don’t Say Gay’ got 100 articles. Well, something’s wrong with that picture.

“ ‘Don’t Say Gay’ is real sexy and yada yada yada. It’s not going anywhere. Who runs the Student Achievement District is huge. But you’d be lucky to find two paragraphs on that.

Campfield begs to differ: "I partially agree with the governor that some in the media have an unhealthy obsession with this bill. But I disagree with the governor saying that it is not going to pass. Families across the state believe this is something that should be discussed with young children in the home, not with some radical in the classroom."

(nashville city paper via metro pulse)

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Comments

  1. Oh, Bill. I'm so glad I moved away from your state. You rich white guys trying to push the blame from yourselves to something else always fills me with a sense of pride when it comes to my home state government.

    Yes, I am hopeful this bill will never make it, EVEN though its already practically right there. But for you to sit back and complain about the media covering something that will have a detrimental impact on the lives and learning of children for YEARS to come is just nonsense. Perhaps if your cohorts in the League of Injustice focused more time on fixing the school system (other than having a new superintendent, because lets face it, one man isn't going to fix all the problems with the Tennessee school system) and less time passing discriminatory, bigoted and fear-mongered bills, then the media wouldn't be able to have a field day with it.

    Just my two cents, seeing as how I graduated from one of your "less capable" schools and I am gay.

    Posted by: Patrick | Aug 2, 2011 9:01:46 AM


  2. Would "Who runs the Tennessee Student Achievement District" get more press than a "Don't Say Black" bill? Or "Don't Say Jew", "Don't Say Catholic", or "Don't Say Green-Eyed" bill? When a state legislature tries to make a segment of the population disappear, of course it is going to draw more national attention than a school system hiree.

    Posted by: Dastius Krazitauc | Aug 2, 2011 9:12:30 AM


  3. Well if this guy is some sort of genius who can turn around the education system, then maybe people will pay attention. However until that day, people are definitely going to pay more attention to the "Don't Say Gay" bill than a government appointee. What a moron.

    Posted by: Matthew | Aug 2, 2011 10:13:30 AM


  4. Well, the Gov has a point...

    He should really consider checking in with his legislators, the folks that created the diversion in the first place.

    Posted by: Pete n SFO | Aug 2, 2011 10:50:14 AM


  5. I live in TN and I didn't vote for Haslam, but I didn't vote for his D-bag Dem opponent either, who made homophobic statements and pronouncements throughout his campaign. Haslam didn't and so from the standpoint of gay voters was in many ways preferable. Rock. Hard place. You get the picture.

    Posted by: Codswallop | Aug 2, 2011 1:08:08 PM


  6. One very interesting thing here is the description of a child's teacher as "some radical in the classroom." Somehow, your old second grade teacher isn't part of the community anymore - nowadays s/he's an outsider, part of the "liberal elite" infecting impressionable young minds with a secular socialist atheist worldview. It's one of the nastier new trends in American anti-intellectualism, courtesy of the Tea Party mentality: even public school teachers are considered potential radicals out to tear down The American Way of Life.

    Posted by: Sancho | Aug 2, 2011 1:16:41 PM


  7. He's delusional if he thinks the national media gives a damn about state educational matters.

    Posted by: BobN | Aug 2, 2011 2:28:58 PM


  8. I'm sorry, Governor Haslman, but excellence in education is any school superintendent's job and pursuing it isn't and shouldn't be in any way remarkable. Crowing about it is akin to congratulating yourself for providing water and sewage.

    What's remarkable is that while providing one of the worst K-12 educations in a nation shamed for the low quality of such efforts, you continue to attempt to legislate ignorance and intolerance. Nor are the two unrelated: your inability to distinguish between educating children and indoctrinating them into your dominate religious cult is a part of the problem. Resources wasted on debating whether to teach science or pseudoscience, facts or denial, knowledge or superstition are just that: wasted.

    Of course the largest factor in the entrenched ignorance of Tennesseans is poverty, but poverty doesn't occur isolated from these issues either. Intolerance is always an economic as well as a moral, ethical, and social disaster. Attempts to create second class citizens invariably result in one of two things: second class workers, or the flight of first class workers to less benighted locales.

    As you attempt to institutionalize ignorance, bigotry, and fear, people of superior abilities will quite rightly tend to abandon your state rather than waste their lives among self-congratulating primitives.

    Posted by: Bryan | Aug 2, 2011 3:50:31 PM


  9. SANCHO writes

    "One very interesting thing here is the description of a child's teacher as "some radical in the classroom." Somehow, your old second grade teacher isn't part of the community anymore - nowadays s/he's an outsider, part of the "liberal elite" infecting impressionable young minds with a secular socialist atheist worldview. It's one of the nastier new trends in American anti-intellectualism, courtesy of the Tea Party mentality: even public school teachers are considered potential radicals out to tear down The American Way of Life."

    This observation is right on point and it applies not just to gay education matters but to just about anything. It's really a tough spot to be K-12 teacher these days. If there's any book u use in an English class which parents don't like, they'll get vocal about it by calling just about any local official. It's a trend that's been in the making for a while: the sane people on the one hand (teachers, and other hard working professionals) moving on with the times in terms of progressive, rational thinking, and the grumpy old parents on the other hand with their social views stuck in the middle ages who feel threatened since they're a shrinking minority. It's a minority that gets louder each day as it becomes weaker and weaker. Things are going to get worse before they get better.


    Posted by: Mark | Aug 2, 2011 4:02:56 PM


  10. As a Tennessee teacher, I am ashamed to live and work in this state. The legislature and the governor are Republican idiots, and they will do or say anything to gain or maintain political power. Along with the stupid "Don't say gay bill" they have also taken away collective bargaining rights for teachers and tenure.

    Posted by: Mark | Aug 2, 2011 5:41:06 PM


  11. iNTERESTING - THE GUY IS A REPUB.

    Posted by: billyWingarten | Aug 2, 2011 7:58:21 PM


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