Arizona May Outlaw Cursing by Teachers
The Arizona State Senate is debating a bill that would punish teachers who use foul language in their classrooms. The bill, as written, would prohibit the same language the Federal Communications Commissions prohibits on television.
So, the late George Carlin’s famous “seven words you can’t say on TV” may be the “seven words teachers can’t say at school,” at least in Arizona.
Under the bill introduced by a Republican state senator, Arizona public school teachers and university professors could be suspended or even fired for using profanities or other obscene language that would be banned from network television under the FCC’s indecency policy.
For the first offense, a teacher or professor would be suspended for at least one week. The second violation calls for a two-week suspension, and a third offense would cost the instructor’s job.
Analysts say the bill is well-intended in spirit, but it would be a dramatic shift of power away from local schools and to state government.
Ken Paulson, president of the nonprofit First Amendment Center says “These kinds of guidelines are best suited for an individual school district to formulate.”
Several Democrats feel the same way. Senate Minority Leader David Schapira, a former teacher, says dealing with foul-mouthed teachers should be left to local school boards, not the state.
The bill’s sponsor has indicated she is willing to amend the bill to ease those concerns.
So Arizona wants to outlaw the same language the FCC won’t allow on TV? Presumably, this means language NOT against FCC guidelines is OK?
Good grief! Has anybody in that legislature watched TV lately? Language in TV’s prime-time “family hours” went into the sewer a long time ago.
The most amazing thing about this story is that, in Arizona at least, some think it’s necessary to pass a law make it a firing offense for a teacher to use foul language in the classroom.
Has our culture really fallen that far? People of a certain age can remember when a law like this was completely unnecessary, because teachers just didn’t do that. It was just unthinkable.