Thursday, April 2, 2015

Will the Tennessee Legislature Make it Illegal to Perform Hamlet in Schools?

Posted By on Thu, Apr 2, 2015 at 10:14 AM

Okay, I'll admit that the headline might be somewhat sensational. The Tennessee House of Representatives hasn't outlawed Shakespeare just yet. But let's hope nobody's prop room gets raided in the near future. An amendment tacked onto HB995 makes it illegal to carry swords and toy guns within 100 feet of a school. HB995, also known as the "Guns in Parks" bill, passed Monday.

The language:

“A person commits an offense who intentionally carries an explosive, explosive weapon, permanently disabled firearm, hoax device, imitation firearm, machete, or sword openly within one hundred fifty feet (150′) of the real property that comprises the grounds or facilities of a public or private preschool, elementary school, middle school, or secondary school."
That would seem to put a lot of classical performance off limits. Not to mention West Side Story

Ironically, the ban doesn't apply to actual guns which aren't considered an explosive weapon. Guns are already covered under a federal gun-free schools act. 

On the other hand this may encourage the creation of Machete Kills: The Musical  since there is at least one specific exception:

"(B) Carrying or possessing a machete and employed in a
profession where a machete is customarily utilized."

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