Might an Arizona teacher introduce a topic in the classroom that is objectionable to a student or that student’s parent? I would certainly hope so! More than just reading, writing, and arithmetic, a quality education in a democratic society is all about developing citizens who can make decisions about sometimes controversial social issues such as fairness, equality, justice, respect for others, and the right to dissent. And in our democratic society, a student or parent who has a concern regarding teacher input can take that concern to the school administration. Perhaps our legislator is unaware that individual school districts typically have complaint procedures in place for addressing concerns that students or parents might have regarding a teacher’s words or actions. No new “code of ethics” is required. Our constitution already gives teachers the right to speak and students and parents the right to dissent, and our public schools provide the environment for both.
Disclaimer: As submitted to the Arizona Daily Star.