Tennessee Legislature Against The Youth

Disclaimer: The views and opinions expressed in this program are those of the writer and do not necessarily reflect the views or positions of any entities they represent.

The Tennessee Legislature is currently introducing several bills that could negatively affect teens in Tennessee, including students at our school. These include bills that would effectively ban gender affirming and mental healthcare, and even allow any licensed adult to carry a concealed firearm on school campus.

HB 0001 & SB 0001 is a bill that will prohibit any healthcare providers from giving “gender affirming care” for minors and especially cases for gender dysphoria as well as “any mental health issue.” A similar bill has already been passed in Texas. The number of teens who struggle with their mental health has boomed upward in recent years, and many at our school, as well as those nearby, could be negatively affected by this law.

Similarly, SB 0005 would effectively ban gender-affirming care for minors. Furthermore, it would allow parents to choose whether or not their children may seek mental healthcare for issues related to gender. This bill could affect the transgender teens in our own school. Many teenagers in Tennessee use hormone suppressants or injections in order to relieve their gender dysphoria. If this bill gets passed, it will outright ban any use of such a product in teens.

HB 0041 would permit any board of education to let their director of schools authorize chosen employees to carry concealed firearms on campus. The way to prevent violence in school, especially using firearms, is definitely not to allow staff to carry them on school premises, we have our school resource officers for a reason. Their job is to keep an eye out and handle dangerous situations, such as shootings or other violent acts on school premises, they are properly trained in the use of firearms, de-escalating violent situations, and using physical restraint.

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