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Potty mouth legislation ignores deeper problems

It’s hard to believe the Arizona Legislature is spending its time on a bill to limit indecent speech by teachers. Of course, nearly everyone would agree teachers should not be foul or crass. But nearly no teachers are.

Parents who have complaints should be able to take them to the teacher first, and then the school principal. They should not have to go all the way to a state representative, and state representatives should not stoop to monitoring every word out of a teacher’s mouth.

The bill is merely the symptom of deeper problems: a public school monopoly over education, which keeps everyone but the rich or tightly scrimping tied to public schools, and teachers’ contract restrictions on principals that prevent principals from actually being able to tell a teacher to knock it off or face getting fired.

If a teacher has a consistent potty mouth, parents should be able to have the principal step in or take their kids elsewhere. It’s a pity the state currently withholds this obvious solution and instead would consider regulating a condition created by regulations and becoming the speech police.

— Joy Pullmann is an education research fellow at Heartland Institute in Chicago.

One comment

  1. We believe the issue is “respect”. This should not be legislated by a state law, but “respect” should be required of all teachers and school administrators. Senator Klein and her sponsors have not supported our children in the past, now they wish to regulate teachers on their performance. This is the job of school administrators not the legislature.

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