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young child
Hands where we can see 'em, buddy.
(Cesar Robles)
Tennessee's latest efforts to remain in the running for America's most ridiculous state legislature are, I must say, quite impressive:
Tennessee senators approved an update to the state's abstinence-based sex education law that includes warnings against "gateway sexual activity."

In a new family life instructions bill, holding hands and kissing could be considered gateways to sex.

Yes. Yes, we must stop hand-holding. Hand-holding may lead to dancing. And naughtiness. If you want to hold that hand, little Timmy, you better put a ring on it. Oh, and careful not to get your Play-Doh on the ring. That stuff's murder to get back off.

Oh, but that's not all! No, there's much, much more.

The bill prohibits teachers from demonstrating gateway sexual activity.  CaPese said that would include health education models.
So not only is hand-holding a gateway to sexytimes, but the Tennessee State Senate, having exhausted all other possible things to give a damn about in their state, is making darn sure that your teacher can't demonstrate hand-holding in the classroom, while saying "see? Don't do this." Also out: winking, wearing short sleeves, any shoes not issued by the U.S. Army, and giving other children those horrible, chalky Valentine's Day candies with vapid little sayings on them. I don't know how many of our nation's children have gotten laid as a result of exchanging those wretched, inedible things, but that's not a risk good conservative Republicans can be taking anymore.
If an instructor goes beyond the curriculum, the bill gives parents more legal rights, stating, "The parent or legal guardian shall have a cause of action against the instructor or organization for actual damages."
So if your teacher teaches you anything about sex that isn't specifically on the approved curriculum, like demonstrating "holding hands" for the class instead of quietly tsking about the dangers it poses, they can be sued. Well there ya go then.

In related news, Tennessee high schoolers are above the national average when it comes to how many of them are having sex, so it seems this new anti-handholding agenda is coming along at just the right time. Or is much, much too late. Or is just stupid, and yet another demonstration of what bored old cranks think is best for the young 'uns these days, and actual real-world results be damned.

Originally posted to Daily Kos on Thu Apr 12, 2012 at 06:01 AM PDT.

Also republished by Your Government at Work, Southern Action, Nashville KosKats, and Three Star Kossacks.

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