Pennsylvania Legislator Thinks He Can Ban Teachers From Talking About Politics In The Classroom
from the there's-a-sucker-leaving-office-every-minute dept
A Pennsylvania legislator with little to lose but his remaining reputation has decided to burn that down on his way out of office. State rep Will Tallman wants to exit in a blazing cloud of idiocy and is asking his fellow reps to be as stupid as he is. (h/t Max Kennerly)
On Friday, Tallman sent a memo to the 203-member state House seeking support for a bill he dubbed the “Teacher Code of Ethics,” which legal experts questioned as unconstitutional overreach.
In the memo, Tallman said his bill would forbid public school teachers from endorsing, supporting or opposing candidates or incumbents for local, state and federal offices while in the classroom. On the job, teachers could not discuss enacted or pending legislation, regulations, executive orders or court cases involving any level or branch of government. They could not talk about activities “that hamper or impede” law enforcement actions or military recruiters on campus.
Tallman actually believes children as young as the age of 5 are being “indoctrinated” by teachers with ideological axes to grind. His conclusion appears to be based on things people like him have said in the recent past without offering citations or evidence.
As a member of the House Education Committee, he said, he has received “half a dozen to a dozen” complaints about teachers inserting their political beliefs into non-germane topics. His adult children and grandchildren also complained to him about the same issue, he said.
So, the braintrust behind this assertion includes three missionaries and their children and 6-12 complaints over the past decade. Obviously, the only conclusion to draw is that indoctrination is out of hand and only the powerful velvet fist of government regulation can stop it. If the First Amendment must be destroyed to save the children, it’s a sacrifice Tallman is willing to make on behalf of the few that agree with him and the large majority of non-idiots who don’t.
Everyone who isn’t Tallman has already greeted his proposed legislation with Constitution-based ridicule. The law will never pass. If something goes horribly wrong and the bill does pass, the courts will strike it down immediately.
Tallman believes it won’t. Tallman — again without offering supporting evidence — firmly believes this same sort of unconstitutional garbage is already law elsewhere in the country.
Tallman stood by his bill, saying four other states, which he could not name, have enacted similar legislation, and that it would be up to the courts to determine if the enacted laws and his bill are legal.
“This will have to play out in court,” he said.
Sorry, but the game goes to The Morning Call.
It already has.
The Morning Call offers far more than cases it can’t name in support of its statement. Readers are given a list of precedential Supreme Court decisions striking down similar unconstitutional restrictions on speech.
The bill has zero chance to survive a Constitutional challenge should it somehow make its way from half-formed brain fart to actual law. No one else in the legislature appears willing to push Tallman’s Folly along, meaning the legislator will have to handle all of his own agitating while short-timing his way through his last few months in office.
Tallman could have exited office gracefully — remembered vaguely as that one guy who did the government thing for nine years. Instead, he chose to be remembered for the hill he chose to retire on — a stupid law so facially unconstitutional it could only have been dreamed up by someone who uses family members as focus groups.