A new bill in Arizona is seeking to impose harsh restrictions on teachers’ conduct, even in their own homes. The bill, SB 1467, states that educators at the state’s public schools and universities can be fined, suspended and ultimately fired if they “engage in speech or conduct that would violate the standards adopted by the Federal Communications Commission concerning obscenity, indecency and profanity if that speech or conduct were broadcast on television or radio.”
That does a great deal to limit what can be taught in classrooms. Banning books is certainly not a new practice, but this law would cover far more than controversial books. Here’s a look at some of the key books that would be outlawed in Arizona classrooms:
Worse, as Angus Johnston notes, the bill is so ineptly drafted that it could intrude deeply into teacher’s private lives. SB 1467 doesn’t just ban public speech or conduct, but all speech and conduct. That means public school teachers in Arizona will be forbidden from engaging in any FCC-regulated activities no matter where they are. That means no sex, no going to the bathroom, no cursing and no showering. Ever.
One of the bill’s five sponsors, State Senator Lori Klein (R-AZ), has some experience in the national spotlight. Last summer she raised eyebrows when, during an interview with a reporter from the Arizona Republic, she took out a loaded handgun and pointed it at the reporter’s chest. And in the middle of Herman Cain’s sexual harassment scandal, Klein dismissed the allegations against Cain because he had “never been anything but a gentlemen” to her, “and I am not an unattractive woman.”