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Lee to sign bill letting students opt out of LGBTQ material

April 16, 2021 GMT

NASHVILLE, Tenn. (AP) — Tennessee Gov. Bill Lee plans to sign a bill requiring school districts to alert parents of any instruction on sexual orientation or gender identity and let them opt their student out.

Casey Black, a spokesperson for the Republican, said Thursday the governor intends to sign the bill after it cleared its last hurdle in the GOP-supermajority Legislature on Wednesday.

Supporters argued the bill strengthens parental rights, rebuffing concerns from opponents that it could further alienate already-marginalized students.

The bill gives school districts 30 days to alert parents or guardians of upcoming instruction on sexual orientation or gender identity. Families could opt their student out without penalty.

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The bill would not apply when a teacher is responding to a student’s question or referring to a historic figure or group.

Lee has already signed legislation this year that bars transgender athletes from participating in public middle or high school girls’ sports.