Dear Kansas: just last week your Supreme Court did a good thing and told your terrible legislature that they needed to actually spend some coin on poor schoolchildren because of how it was unconstitutional not to, but your legislators responded by explaining that they probably weren’t going to do that, because freedom. Your legislators are also the sadistic weirdos who want to make it super way easy for a teacher to spank a student. Now it appears that you STILL can’t control your legislators in regards to schools, because they’ve come up with a dumb idea to prosecute teachers for handing out materials parents don’t like.
The Kansas Senate may consider a bill that would make it easier to prosecute teachers, librarians or school principals for exposing students to offensive materials.
Senate Bill 401, approved by the Senate Judiciary Committee this week, was drafted in response to a January incident at a Shawnee Mission middle school in which a poster used in sex education classes was put on a classroom door.
Supporters of the legislation say a clause in the current law protects materials that are part of “an approved course or program of instruction.” They say that lets schools ignore community standards for what might be considered “harmful to minors.”
You do realize what this means, right? The Kansas legislature is basically proposing that any god-grubbing gun-loving creationist parent who lives in a town can scream HARMFUL TO MINORS at a school and basically get the material tossed, because teachers are kinda probably maybe going to err on the side of NOT GETTING ARRESTED.
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Opponents of the bill – including education groups and the American Civil Liberties Union – say it amounts to broad-brush censorship and would make teachers, libraries or anyone with supervision of a public establishment culpable for even accidental exposure to material somehow deemed offensive. That potentially could include works such as Michelangelo’s statue of David or Shakespeare’s “Romeo and Juliet,” opponents say. […]
Officials with the Kansas-National Education Association said in a blog post Wednesday that the proposed bill would “purge literature from our schools, censor art classes, and stop field trips” because teachers likely would self-censor to protect themselves from potential prosecution.
“A teacher who takes a field trip to the state capitol and suddenly notes the bare-breasted woman in the artwork in the rotunda can be accused of recklessly exposing students to nudity,” the group said.
No, of course not, says some goober from the American Family Association who testified in favor of this bit of nonsense, because we’ll somehow magically exempt things we deem works of art from the purview of this law and oh haha there are no standards but we will just know that our art is great and yours is filthy trash.
[Philip] Cosby, of the American Family Association, said such works still would be protected under a clause in the law that protects materials that a “reasonable person” would find to have “serious literary, scientific, educational, artistic or political value for minors.”
“They’re saying somehow this is equated with art, but no, no, no,” he said. “That is not the issue in front of us.”
Actually it is, Phil, because now some teacher has to go through an impossible calculus of whether assigning The Color Purple is serious literature or if one of your mouth-breathing acolytes will decide it is lesbo porn and then they will get sued or imprisoned or both. So that teacher will just not assign it, and will instead have to make her 11th-graders read the Bible because that’s the only book you fucks aren’t going to challenge.
Teachers, if this thing passes, the best advice we can give you is get out of teaching or get out of Kansas. Sorry.