Author of 'don't say gay' bill heads Missouri House education committee
The Kansas City Star
Remember Steve Cookson, the Missouri legislator who raised a ruckus last session with his “don’t say gay,” bill? That’s the one that would have banned discussion of sexual orientation in the state’s public schools.
Meet the new chairman of the Missouri House elementary and secondary education committee: Steve Cookson.
Cookson’s bill was buried in that same committee last year. He hasn’t filed anything similar this year, but the session has just begun.
The “don’t say gay” bill last year attracted worldwide attention. It would have silenced any discussion of sexual orientation in the schools, and banned clubs such as gay-straight alliances. It was seen as a bill to promote isolation and bullying of gay and lesbian students.
Cookson, who hails from Fairdealing, Mo., is a retired superintendent of a rural school district. But he isn’t the only Republican House member with a background in education.
House Speaker Tim Jones’ selection of Cookson to lead the education committee shows insensitivity to gay and lesbian students and their families, and to educators who want to promote their acceptance. It is offensive at many levels, and it is the choice of someone arrogant enough not to care.