Tennessee Takes Major Step Towards Banning Pride Flags From Classrooms
Pride flag.
Alexander Spatari via Getty Images

The Tennessee state House passed a bill on Monday that would prohibit the flying of any flag other than the American flag and a few other official flags in public school classrooms, legislation that was sparked by the prevalence of pride flags in recent years.

The bill states in part that it is prohibited for to display “a flag other than the following on or in a public school: (i) the U.S. flag; (ii) the official Tennessee state flag; (iii) a flag that cannot be disturbed or altered pursuant to the law relevant to Tennessee heritage protection; (iv) the POW/MIA flag,” and several other flags that are acceptable to fly in schools.

The bill, introduced by Republican state Rep. Gino Bulso, passed with a 70 – 24 vote along party lines.

Bulso brought the bill forward as a result of constituent parents who were concerned about the flying of LGBTQ Pride flags in class, reports The Tennessean.

On the House floor, Bulso rhetorically asked if parents have the right to teach a particular set of values to their own children.


“If you have parents across the state who want to instill in their children values represented by the pride flag, they are certainly entitled to do that,” he said. “On the other hand, if you have parents who want to instill values in their children that are not consistent with the values represented by the pride flag, they have the ability to do that.”

A companion bill in the state’s Republican-controlled Senate is expected to be voted on this week. If it passes, it will head to the desk of Republican Governor Bill Lee.

The bill also gives parents or guardians the right to file a lawsuit if the flag prohibition is breached by the schools.

“However, prior to filing an action, the parent or guardian must first provide written notice of the alleged violation of this amendment to the LEA or public charter school and allow the LEA or public charter school 10 days to remedy a violation,” the bill states.

Democratic members of the state House offered two amendments to the bill, both of which were rejected by Republican members.

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