After passage in the House, the Tennessee Senate killed a bill protecting drivers who hit protestors unintentionally and heightening charges for protestors blocking roads. The Senate deferred the bill to summer study last Tuesday. Prior to that, the legislation struggled to move forward in the Senate after action was deferred or delayed several times in committee.
The Tennessee Star reported in early March that State Representative Ron Gant (R-Rossville), the bill sponsor, called the legislation an “anti-riot” bill.
Tennessee will now require schools to notify parents and allow them to opt their student out before implementing sexual orientation or gender identity curriculum. The legislation went into effect on Monday, when Governor Bill Lee signed it into law. Essentially, this legislation serves as a notification and opt-out system concerning sexual orientation and gender identity curriculum.
Schools are now required to notify parents at least 30 days before imposing any curriculum dealing with sexual orientation or gender identity. The law also specifies that parents have the right to examine the curriculum materials and discuss them with their student’s instructor, school counselor, or principal.
The General Assembly is considering whether schools should notify parents about sexual orientation or gender identity curriculum. HB0529/SB1229 would require this. It would also allow parents to opt their children out of that curriculum, review the materials, and confer with school officials about the curriculum or materials.
Schools would have to notify parents about the curriculum 30 days in advance, at minimum. It wouldn’t require any notification about responses to in-class questions from students, or about references to the sexual orientation or gender identity of historic figures. It also wouldn’t require schools to adopt this type of curriculum.
Companion bills State Representative Debra Moody (R-Covington) and State Senator Paul Rose (R-Covington) introduced the companion bills. These bills propose to remove custody, visitation, and inheritance rights for a parent convicted of statutory rape, aggravated statutory rape, or lesser included offenses of rape from which crime the child was conceived.
Current Tennessee Code prohibits custody, visitation, and inheritance rights for these types of rape: § 39-13-502, § 39-13-503, and § 39-13-522. If the companion bills are passed, the Code would also prohibit those rights for a parent who is convicted of aggravated statutory rape as outlined in § 39-13-506 or statutory rape by an authority figure as outlined in § 39-13-532. The legislation would also apply those same restrictions on a parent who is convicted of or pleads guilty or no contest to a lesser included offense.