PA Lawmaker's Bill Would Ban Teachers From Talking Politics in the Classroom
A Pennsylvania state lawmaker is pushing a bill that would ban schoolteachers from talking about modern-day civics, politics and public affairs in the classroom.
State Rep. Will Tallman (R), who is retiring at the end of the year, sent a memo to his colleagues in the state House last Friday seeking support for what he has dubbed the “Teacher Code of Ethics.”
According to the memo, the bill would prohibit public elementary or secondary schoolteachers, while operating within the scope of their employment, from endorsing, supporting, or opposing any the following:
- Candidate or nominee for public office or any local, state, or federal official, regardless of whether such official is elected or appointed;
- Local, state, or federal legislation or regulation, regardless of whether such legislation or regulation is pending, proposed, or enacted;
- Local, state, or federal court case or judicial action, regardless of whether such court case or judicial action is pending, proposed, or decided;
- Pending, proposed, or final executive action by any local, state or federal executive branch agency;
- Activities that hamper or impede the lawful access of military recruiters to school property;
- Activities that hamper or impede the actions of a local, state, or federal law enforcement agency;
- Introduce into class any controversial subject matter that is not germane to the topic of the course being taught; or
- Advocate for any issue that is part of a political party platform at the national, state, or local Level.
“Our K-12 school teachers should not be using their classroom time spent on political or ideological indoctrination,” Tallman said in his memo. “Doing so takes time away from instruction in the academic foundation subjects of mathematics, science, English, history, and civics, and prevents our students from receiving a high-quality public education for careers in the global, high-tech economy.”
Reaction to Tallman's bill has been mixed.
Some people said this would help remove potential bias from the classroom and help students make up their own minds.
I agree with it, teachers aren’t supposed to push there personal agenda on kids let the kids make up their own mind.
— David (@deerhunterinGA) September 20, 2018
Pennsylvania Rep Proposes Bill To Ban Political Talks In Schools https://t.co/XTOlvnmggM Great idea! I know from personal experience that Leftist teachers often indoctrinate impressionable kids in schools and shame them for having different opinions.
— Ron Thomas (@ronthomasaz) September 20, 2018
1st amendment aside I think teachers, professors, or any other person that is supposed to teach our young people should not poison these young minds. This has been going on for so long that it has already affected these young people. Let them decide for themselves!
— Steven A. Economos (@econshell) September 20, 2018
But others have said the bill would violate teachers' free speech and create a generation of uninformed, unthinking citizens.
I’d never share my politics / feelings w/ students, but I’d openly defy this law EVERY SINGLE DAY b/c #socialstudies is the study of policy, proceedings, & people. When Rep. Tallman retires, I’ll invite him to class to take part in the fun. Thurs we debate Confederate Monuments. https://t.co/QKZTASEHQi
— Mr. Jake Miller (@MrJakeMiller) September 19, 2018
How do you teach civics or American history without talking about legislation or court cases? We can’t have nice things. https://t.co/lO2FfbiWlL
— Steve Boell (@SteveBoell) September 19, 2018
Can you believe this? A Pennsylvania state lawmaker Republican Will Tallman Introduced a bill that would ban public school teachers from discussing politics or government in their classrooms.
THIS IS JUST WRONG
THIS is an unconstitutional violation of free speech of Teachers
— PoliticsVideoChannel (@politvidchannel) September 19, 2018
What do you think? Let us know in the comments!