Imagine you’re a teacher’s union official. A state legislator has filed a bill that will have a significant impact on your members. The bill would actually outlaw teachers disciplining, even suspending and expelling students for professing political beliefs with which teachers disagree. You, of course, are outraged, and vehemently oppose the bill. You issue a statement:
The proposed legislation removes local control from teachers, counselors, administrators and local school boards. Educators are degreed professionals, trained and experienced in dealing with children.
Ridiculous? One would think so. After all, who could possibly oppose prohibiting something no ethical, rational person would do? If you wouldn’t do something because it’s unprofessional and just plainly wrong, why would you object when it is prohibited? Let’s visit Oklahoma and see who would oppose such things and why:
Schoolchildren in Oklahoma could not be punished for chewing their breakfast pastries into the shape of a gun under a bill introduced this week by a Republican legislator.
Rep. Sally Kern said Wednesday her measure dubbed the Common Sense Zero Tolerance Act was in response to school districts having policies that are too strict or inflexible.
Kern cited a recent Maryland case that gained national media attention where a boy was suspended after his teacher accused him of chewing his Pop Tart into the shape of a gun.
‘Real intent, real threats and real weapons should always be dealt with immediately. We need to stop criminalizing children’s imagination and childhood play,’ Kern, Republican from Oklahoma City told News9.com.
‘If there’s no real intent, there’s no real threat, no real weapon, no real harm is occurring or going to occur, why in the world are we in a sense abusing our children like this?’
Under Kern’s bill, students couldn’t be punished for possessing small toy weapons or using writing utensils, fingers or their hands to simulate a weapon. Students also couldn’t be punished for drawing pictures of weapons or wearing clothes that ‘support or advance Second Amendment rights or organizations.
The bill would uphold student’s rights under the First Amendment, and prevent children being punished for acting like children, particularly boys. There is little question that there are far too many laws, and a great many are written for reasons other than necessity or the good of the public. No law should be written unless it is necessary, there is no other legislation that accomplishes the same or similar purpose, and it is constitutional.
In this case, the proposed law is clearly constitutional for it does nothing more than preventing professionals from doing things no professional should so much as think about doing. Its scope is narrow, its purpose specific, it is not vague or difficult to understand. Obviously, there is no similar legislation, and there is no question that supposed professionals around the nation are inflicting grossly improper punishments on children who are doing nothing to disrupt the order of their schools, and nothing more than American children have done for more than two centuries.
News9.com reported that Kern’s proposal was met with immediate opposition from the Oklahoma Education Association.
‘The proposed legislation removes local control from teachers, counselors, administrators and local school boards. Educators are degreed professionals, trained and experienced in dealing with children,’ Linda Hampton, president of the Oklahoma Education Association, told the station.
We know that those opposing the bill are arguing against, but what are they arguing for? What professional actually wants to suspend or expel little boys for playing with imaginary hand grenades to vanquish evil and save the world? What rational educator wants to punish little girls for saying they want to blow bubbles at each other? What sane educator wants to suspend little boys for playing by pointing their fingers at each other, simulating non-existent guns? Yet all of this, and more, has been done. The behavior being punished doesn’t represent any threat. It isn’t disrupting school, it isn’t close to student’s failing to give teachers due deference, nor does it represent a crime, and wearing an NRA t-shirt is constitutionally protected expression.
This isn’t about local control. Teacher’s unions are fundamentally opposed to local control and constantly lobby for universal, state or even nation wide control of school policy in their favor. If they could, unions would take delight in imposing mandatory union membership on the nation.
This is about imposing a progressive, anti-gun, anti-liberty agenda on a captive audience during its formative years. Educators and others opposing such laws want to be able to punish children that do not adhere to progressive, politically correct dogma. They want children to believe that playing with even nonexistent guns is evil, even thought crime. They want to diminish freedom by indoctrinating generations to have no knowledge or appreciation of it.
Educators behaving in these ways are violating professional ethics. They are abusing children in the service of a political agenda. They take irreplaceable teaching time to indoctrinate, and throw children out of school, denying them additional learning opportunities in the name of political purity. Obviously, they cannot be trusted to police themselves; years of these abuses prove as much.
The proposed law would not compel anyone to do anything or to violate the ethics of their profession. It would do no harm. It would not ensnare innocents in a too-broadly written law, nor would it criminalize perfectly lawful behavior or chill or prevent the imposition of legitimate, proper discipline. It does not tread on the reasonable discretion of teachers and principals, unless one considers it necessary for teachers to act on non-existent or imaginary threats and perfectly innocuous behavior in children. On the contrary, it would only prevent unethical, abusive practices no professional should or would countenance.
Let’s have this law, in Oklahoma and elsewhere. Childhood will rejoice.