CHARLESTON, WV (LOOTPRESS) – A new bill introduced in the House of Delegates would ban the teaching of sexuality in public schools and forbid displays relating to sexuality.
HB 2157, lead sponsored by Delegates J. Jeffries, and sponsored by D. Jeffries, and Mandt, would require the state board to prohibit persons from putting up displays relating to sexuality in public school facilities and forbid the teachings of sexuality in public schools.
Delegate Joe Jeffries (R – Putnam, 22), the lead sponsor of the bill, released the following statement to Lootpress on why he thinks this legislation is important:
“HB 2157 was introduced back in 2020 as a response to multiple reports of teachers in multiple schools across the state who have pushed their personal ideologies on our children.
Schools are a place for children to learn reading, writing, and be able to perform math. It is a place to prepare them for an adult life of college and/or working in society to help them become successful. It’s a place to educate them on facts and truths, not biased opinions.
Today we are seeing many teachers and curriculum pushing a narrative on our children based on opinions. The claim that there are more than two sexes, being straight, gay, or that babies are only fetal cells and not living humans, despite science proving all of these opinions as wrong, are some examples.
Our public schools have used their teaching abilities to push students to an agenda of their liking and I’ve heard from multiple people who want it stopped. Teaching our children about issues that no one but a parent should be teaching them, such as sexuality, religion, and politics have no place in public school.
I realize many have made it all about gays (LGBT), but people might want to consider the bill with a little more thought. Do they want a conservative teacher (there are equally as many of them as there are liberal ones), telling a gay student “he must be straight”, or that “he is wrong”?
This bill really doesn’t deserve as much attention as it’s getting. Not because I don’t want it to pass, because I do, but because it’s a rollover bill from 2020 that didn’t run last year. It was reintroduced on day one where it has sat in the education committee, which has a pro-“fairness act” Delegate as the Vice-Chairman. While I believe it needs to run and pass, I don’t hold much faith that it will be ran. I am a little more hopeful considering it’s seemed to gain the attention of media all of a sudden when last year everyone was silent on the issue.
However, it’s not a priority of mine or many others as we have much more to worry about right now concerning education and how things were handled during the last 11 months.”
Lootpress reached out to Fairness WV, who opposes the bill. They released the following statement:
“House Bill 2157 is a bad bill that will harm all of our students. It was designed to silence teachers from showing any support to their LGBTQ students, but it’s written so broadly that it would likely also prevent health teachers from talking about teen pregnancy or ways to prevent the spread of STDs.
LGBTQ students of West Virginia face some of the highest rates of bullying and harassment in the entire country. Data from the CDC shows us that 30 percent of gay, lesbian and bisexual high school students in West Virginia have attempted suicide in the past year. And about 14 percent have skipped school out of fear for their safety.
Teachers and administrators have a responsibility to ensure that LGBTQ children are safe at school. This bill got started because a teacher from Hurricane High School created a bulletin board to support her LGBTQ students in 2019. Del. Joe Jeffries said at the time that the bulletin board was “political,” but he’s the one playing politics with a teacher’s sincere attempt to protect and support her students from bullying.”
Lootpress will continue to follow the bill as it moves through the legislature. Right now, the bill is currently in the House Education Committee.