Image Credit: capitol.tn.gov
The Tennessee Conservative [By Jason Vaughn] –
Although deferred again in the Senate, a bill that would protect Tennessee school employees from backlash for choosing not to use students’ preferred pronouns has passed in the House.
House Bill 2633, sponsored by Representative Mark Cochran (R-Englewood-District 23), states that no employee of a public school or local education association can be required to refer to a student by preferred pronouns that do not match the student’s biological sex. They are also protected from “civil liability and adverse employment action.”
When discussion on the bill was opened up, Representative Bob Freeman (D-Nashville-District 56) commented, “I’m still shocked that we would pass a bill that would allow someone with that much hate in their heart to disrespect students and if a student decides that they want to be called whatever pronoun they want to be called, why would we allow a person whose sole role is to guide them, help them become the best version of themselves, support their decisions, to openly be able to disrespect them?”
He continued, “Can you comment on why you think it’s bad to decide to use someone’s pronouns that they choose to use?”
Cochran responded, “Tolerance and respect go both ways, and teachers should not be forced to use a pronoun or express a message that violates their core beliefs, and so I believe teachers deserve respect as well.”
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After this brief discussion, the bill was brought to a vote. It passed with a vote of 67 in favor and 25 against.
Republican Representatives who voted against the bill included: Charlie Baum, Michael Curcio, and Eddie Mannis.
If passed by the Senate and signed by Governor Lee, the bill would go into effect immediately.
The companion Senate Bill 2777, sponsored by Senator Mike Bell (R-Riceville-District 9) was supposed to be heard by the Senate Finance, Ways, and Means committee on April 19 but was deferred until April 26. On Tuesday, it was deferred again to their April 27 calendar.
There is still time to contact those Senate committee members if you would like to express your support for this bill. You may contact the Republican members of that committee as listed below.
Senate Finance, Ways and Means Committee – Republican Members
Bo Watson (chair) (R) – firstname.lastname@example.org – 615) 741-3227
John Stevens (1st vice-chair) (R)- email@example.com – (615) 741-4576
Joey Hensley (2nd vice-chair) (R)- firstname.lastname@example.org – (615) 741-3100
Todd Gardenhire (R)- email@example.com – (615) 741-6682
Ferrell Haile (R)- firstname.lastname@example.org – (615) 741-1999
Jack Johnson (R)- email@example.com – (615) 741-2495
Jon Lundberg (R)- firstname.lastname@example.org – (615) 741-5761
Dawn White (R)- email@example.com – (615) 741-6853
Ken Yager (R)- firstname.lastname@example.org – (615) 741-1449
About the Author: Jason Vaughn, Media Coordinator for The Tennessee Conservative ~ Jason previously worked for a legacy publishing company based in Crossville, TN in a variety of roles through his career. Most recently, he served as Deputy Director for their flagship publication. Prior, he was a freelance journalist writing articles that appeared in the Herald Citizen, the Crossville Chronicle and The Oracle among others. He graduated from Tennessee Technological University with a Bachelor’s in English-Journalism, with minors in Broadcast Journalism and History. Contact Jason at news@TennesseeConservativeNews.com