State Rep. Steve Cookson's HB 2051
is backed by 19 co-sponsors who helped push the legislation last week to the House Elementary and Secondary Education Committee. The bill reads, in its entirety:
"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."
A couple key terms there. The "no material and no extracurricular activity" clause would seem to stifle the more than 80 gay-straight alliances
that meet in Missouri high schools and are often a tremendous resource for kids struggling with their sexual identity. The "scientific instruction" aspect of the bill seems to state that homosexuality can only be discussed in biology or sex ed class and never make its way to social studies, English or, God-forbid, something like home economics.
Not surprisingly, Missouri's most vocal (if not largest) LGBT rights organization, PROMO, is condemning the bill.
"This is a desperate tactic by frightened, bigoted, cynical individuals
who are terrified at the advancement the LGBT community has made in
breaking down the barriers to full and equal treatment under the law," states PROMO in an online petition
it's asking supporters to sign.
So what about this Cookson guy sponsoring the bill? He's a former superintendent, principal and teacher from the Ozarks, who today lives in the deliciously named town of Fairdealings and enjoys carving sassafras boat paddles. I'm not making that up. Just reading his biography
.H/T: Fired Up
A Missouri legislator from near the Arkansas border is pushing a bill that would severly restrict conversations about sexual orientation in Missouri schools.