Protecting free speech condemned as ‘bullying’

With all the new hate crimes laws appearing across the country – led by Barack Obama’s federal plan that provides special protections for those who choose alternative sexual lifestyles – a family organization in Tennessee and several lawmakers there are proposing an amendment to the state’s anti-bullying law that would protect students’ First Amendment expressions of their religious or political views.

The media was outraged that such an idea even would be discussed.

“With God on their side: The Tennessee Pro-Bully Bill,” proclaimed the Huffington Post. Added CNN, “Critics say proposed Tenn. bill would enable harassment.” And from the Philadelphia Magazine came: “Bullying on Religious Grounds?”

The bill, being sponsored in this year’s legislature by Sen. Jim Tracy in the Senate and Rep. Vance Dennis in the state House, states the Tennessee anti-bullying restrictions “shall not be construed or interpreted to infringe upon the First Amendment rights of students and shall not prohibit their expression of religious, philosophical, or political views, provided, that such expression does not include a threat of physical harm to a student or damage to a student’s property.”

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