Public school teachers in Tennessee could lose their tenure or their jobs for discussing homosexuality with their students under a new bill.

The state Senate will soon vote on a bill, known as “Don’t Say Gay,” that would prohibit educators from “the teaching or furnishing of materials on human sexuality other than heterosexuality in public school grades K-8.”

The Senate Education Committee passed the bill last week, 6-3.

The author of the bill, state Sen. Stacey Campfield, has been trying to advance the bill for several years as member of the House. But he only got momentum when Republicans won control of the governor’s mansion, House and Senate in November for the first time since the Civil War-era.

Campfield said his bill aims to stop gay-rights activists from pushing their agenda in the classroom. He cited children’s programming that taught homosexuality and said “several” teachers have informed him that they’re already teaching the material.

Campfield told that he has gotten hundreds of letter from around the world that are either hate-filled or asking him why he proposed the bill.

“Schools shouldn’t be advocating for or against homosexuality,” he said.

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