The Missouri Bigot Caucus
Just when you think extreme politicians in the General Assembly can’t sink any lower… you see things like HB2051. Sponsored by Rep. Steve Cookson, the bill would make it against the law to even discuss sexual orientation and gender identity in public schools.
HB 2051: Prohibits the discussion of sexual orientation in public school instruction, material, or extracurricular activity except in scientific instruction on human reproduction
Be it enacted by the General Assembly of the state of Missouri, as follows: Section A. Chapter 170, RSMo, is amended by adding thereto one new section, to be known as section 170.370, to read as follows:
170.370. Notwithstanding any other law to the contrary, no instruction, material, or extracurricular activity sponsored by a public school that discusses sexual orientation other than in scientific instruction concerning human reproduction shall be provided in any public school.
Co-sponsors include Speaker Steve Tilley, Birther Tim Jones, John Diehl, Dwight Scharnhorst, Andrew Koenig, Birther Lyle Rowland, Charlie Dennison, Lindell Shumake, Kurt Bahr, Don Wells, Eric Burlison, Dave Schatz, Doug Funderburk, Jeff Grisamore, Mark Parkinson, Paul Fitzwater, Bill Lant, Mike McGhee and Jay Houghton.
Bigoted legislation and leadership like this is exactly why Missouri needs strong anti-bullying legislation that protects all students.
- Fact: Missouri LGBT students frequently hear homophobic, sexist, and offensive remarks regarding their gender expression.*
- Fact: Most LGBT students have been victimized at school; reporting of incidents are limited and when reported, offending parties are not reprimanded.
- Fact: Most LGBT students in Missouri do not have access to support or resources.
Anti-bullying legislation passed the Missouri General Assembly in 2006, but failed to include a list of students most often singled out and targeted for bullying. Without such a list in the law, school districts, administrators, and teachers do not have a clear understanding or training in how to recognize and handle all bullying situations. The Safe Schools Act would clarify these issues and reduce the negative impact of bullying upon LGBT students.
NOTE: An earlier version of this post included a picture of Rep. Thomas Long instead of Rep. Thomas Lant -- our sincere apologies.