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Tennessee lawmakers discuss bill focusing on gender pronouns in schools

An anti-transgender bill that would specify schools are not required to use students' preferred pronouns is making its way through the Tennessee legislature.

NASHVILLE, Tenn. — Lawmakers in Tennessee discussed a bill Tuesday that focused on how educators use pronouns in the classroom.

The bill, SB 2777, is meant to specify that schools and teachers could not be required to use a student's preferred pronoun. It specifies that teachers or other employees of public schools could not be required to use a student's preferred pronoun if it does not align with their gender assigned at birth.

The bill also says they could not be civilly liable for using incorrect pronouns when referring to a student or face employment actions for misgendering a student.

An amendment to the bill also discusses freedom of speech rights inside of schools. It says that protecting freedom of speech for teachers and employees in public schools promotes the state's interests, and says that the pronouns teachers choose to use when referring to students is a matter of free speech.

The bill will be discussed in the Senate Finance Ways and Means Committee on April 26. On Tuesday, it also passed the House of Representatives Calendar and Rules Committee.

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