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Arizona Ponders FCC Decency Standards For the Classroom

timothy posted more than 2 years ago | from the state-schools-state-rules dept.

Censorship 122

einhverfr writes "Eugene Volokh has posted an interesting discussion of a bill that has been introduced in Arizona, which would tie public school educator conduct to the FCC standards for decency for radio and television. The bill is essentially a three strikes system, firing teachers if they violate FCC standards three times. While the goal of the bill may seem reasonable, the details strike me as silly."

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Our repressed media is bad enough (5, Insightful)

pegasustonans (589396) | more than 2 years ago | (#39084417)

There's no need to bring this puritanical nonsense into the classroom.

Any good high school teacher should be able to say "you guys need to get your shit together" in good conscience. If, on the other hand, a genuinely bad teacher is abusive towards students, this is a job for the parents and school administration to handle rationally.

There are already enough rules handed down to schools by politicized bureaucracies to make education a nightmare, why add to the burden with further insanity from the FCC?

Re:Our repressed media is bad enough (5, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#39084455)

You can already say "Shit" on TV if I recall, this sounds more like a back door attempt to stop proper sex education in favor of abstinence only propaganda.

There's no need to bring this puritanical nonsense into the classroom.

Any good high school teacher should be able to say "you guys need to get your shit together" in good conscience. If, on the other hand, a genuinely bad teacher is abusive towards students, this is a job for the parents and school administration to handle rationally.

There are already enough rules handed down to schools by politicized bureaucracies to make education a nightmare, why add to the burden with further insanity from the FCC?

This will be put into effect. (0, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#39084495)

You can already say "Shit" on TV if I recall, ....

Not in the States.

Anyway, I can assure everyone that this will pass?

Why?

Think of the children! mentality.

All you need is one uptight parent who doesn't want their little snowflake exposed to those horrible words and they'll have the school administrators shaking in their boots.

Re:This will be put into effect. (3, Insightful)

MisterMidi (1119653) | more than 2 years ago | (#39084843)

America, land of the free and home of the brave</sarcasm>

Re:This will be put into effect. (1)

wwphx (225607) | more than 2 years ago | (#39087119)

I'm from Arizona, born there and lived there for over 40 years before I got married and moved away. Personally, I really hope this law passes and you start seeing the quality of the education system (debatable though that is) decline rapidly as teachers move away. I think it's going to take crap like this to actually break the government system before we get rid of the idiots now in charge.

Re:This will be put into effect. (1)

xero314 (722674) | more than 2 years ago | (#39088067)

Can the Arizona Education System really get any worse? From what I understand, with the possible exception of Southern California, Arizona already has the worst education system in the country.

Re:This will be put into effect. (1)

bky1701 (979071) | more than 2 years ago | (#39087943)

Arizona is the worst of the worst; that being, the worst of the US. They feel no need to respect human rights: they still use forced labor in dangerous conditions, have concentration-camp style prisons, and racially profile anyone who might be "illegal" (effectively giving police probable cause to stop and search anyone not white). The state needs sanctioned by the UN, right after being ejected from the union.

Re:Our repressed media is bad enough (1)

geckipede (1261408) | more than 2 years ago | (#39084809)

You can already say "Shit" on TV if I recall, this sounds more like a back door attempt to stop proper sex education in favor of abstinence only propaganda.

That was my thought too, but it doesn't seem very targetted. It would make sex education difficult and dangerous to teach, even if you follow the rules, but really all it's doing is inviting angry parents to complain about teachers they don't like.

Re:Our repressed media is bad enough (3, Insightful)

RicktheBrick (588466) | more than 2 years ago | (#39085685)

I immediately thought of George Carlin and his 7 words routine. I did an internet search and found it on youtube. I know I have not watched it in a while but now it states that I have to sign up to verify that I am over 18 to watch it. This is insanity as I would think that this video would be almost mandatory for young children to watch. It presents a very rational discussion of the 7 words. Here is the link http://www.youtube.com/verify_age?next_url=/watch%3Fv%3D3_Nrp7cj_tM [youtube.com] . I looked at it and decided it was not worth having to attempt to prove I am over 18 to watch it as I have already seen it several times. He asks why we invent a word and than decide it is not appropriate to say? He also says there are no dirty word but just dirty thoughts that those word bring to our minds.

Re:Our repressed media is bad enough (1)

Nadaka (224565) | more than 2 years ago | (#39086567)

This also requires the teachers themselves to BE abstinent, even if they are married, having sex with their own spouse in the privacy of their own home would violate this law.

Re:Our repressed media is bad enough (1)

antdude (79039) | more than 2 years ago | (#39087235)

When and where? I never hear that word on local broadcast television/TV stations even during late hours. I do hear other words like damn, bastard, etc.

Re:Our repressed media is bad enough (1, Insightful)

jellomizer (103300) | more than 2 years ago | (#39084527)

They couldn't tell their students "that they need to get their act together"

Teachers are often children's only source of professional adults they come across. The teacher really need to be sure that they are professional in their jobs.

Re:Our repressed media is bad enough (1)

pegasustonans (589396) | more than 2 years ago | (#39084593)

They couldn't tell their students "that they need to get their act together"

Teachers are often children's only source of professional adults they come across. The teacher really need to be sure that they are professional in their jobs.

Where I come from, telling someone they need to get their shit together is perfectly acceptable. I had teachers say precisely this to their classes when I was a student.

Saying "shit" every once in awhile and swearing up a storm are two different things, and the former is pretty much part of life unless your religion forbids it.

I'm sure there are jobs where every swear word is counted against you (thank God I don't work there), but graduates entering the work-force should be able to use that other thing they supposedly learned in order to cope, adaptability.

Re:Our repressed media is bad enough (2, Interesting)

xaxa (988988) | more than 2 years ago | (#39084723)

Hmmm... my manager curses occasionally. Generally only when something especially annoying happens -- e.g. her manager has an accident, and she has to cover for him.

But one of my colleagues says "fuck" as much as some people say "like". "I was, like, arguing with the other guys on the project, like, and they were like, 'Let's do it this way'." becomes, "Fuck, I was arguing with the other guys on the fucking project, and they fucking said 'Let's fucking do it this way'". It's very unprofessional, and I find it hard to take him seriously when he can't talk without swearing. He often raises eyebrows around the office "Fuck, Sam, come and look at this! Fucking amazing!". What's wrong with "Hey Sam!"?

I don't think I've ever heard anyone else in my office swear (while at the office).

Re:Our repressed media is bad enough (2)

misexistentialist (1537887) | more than 2 years ago | (#39085515)

"Fuck" is a manly discourse particle. "Like" or "hey" are chirpy words more suitable for the vocal cords of little boys and girls. Direct speech would of course be preferable, but conversation requires a little flair.

Re:Our repressed media is bad enough (1)

mooingyak (720677) | more than 2 years ago | (#39086163)

My wife's brother is the same way, and then gets all pissy when we tell him to stop doing it around the kids.

I've said 'fuck' now and then in the office, but I'd say it's infrequent, as in less than once a day most of the time.

Re:Our repressed media is bad enough (1)

xero314 (722674) | more than 2 years ago | (#39088093)

I had a friend many years ago who's entire vocabulary consisted of Fuck and Dude, and he made sense doing it.

Re:Our repressed media is bad enough (2)

TFAFalcon (1839122) | more than 2 years ago | (#39085861)

I agree. In fact, this does not go even nearly far enough. All public employees should be prohibited from cursing in public. And that includes politicians. Three strikes and they're out of office permanently.

Re:Our repressed media is bad enough (1)

Jakester2K (612607) | more than 2 years ago | (#39087399)

Now that's a great idea. I'd vote for that.

Re:Our repressed media is bad enough (1)

TFAFalcon (1839122) | more than 2 years ago | (#39088075)

I can just imagine packs of dissatisfied voters stalking senators and trying their best to get them to break. :)

Re:Our repressed media is bad enough (5, Interesting)

purpledinoz (573045) | more than 2 years ago | (#39084563)

The FCC should just stay out of the censoring business and just manage the RF spectrum. Look at the Howard Stern show. Why was he not allowed to talk about sexual topics that Oprah was allowed to talk about? The rules were not clear, and were selectively enforced because the guy at the top didn't like him. Why was Janet Jackson's boob accidentally popping out such a big deal for the FCC? Putting the FCC in the classroom is the worst possible idea ever.

Re:Our repressed media is bad enough (1)

msobkow (48369) | more than 2 years ago | (#39085635)

It'll be interesting to see how you're supposed to run a sex education class with media if "popping boobs" are banned.

Typical stupid politicians, trying to make a name for themselves and get some media exposure.

Unfortunately, the general public is likely to nod and say "good idea" rather than think about all the educational material that would be illegal to broadcast in the US.

Do you realize that in Canada our attitude on sex is so much more liberal that we actually have soft core porn aired after midnight on a few stations every weekend? (Toronto's "CITY TV", for example, plus some stations in Quebec, and, I think, Vancouver BC.)

Re:Our repressed media is bad enough (1)

msobkow (48369) | more than 2 years ago | (#39085645)

Then again, maybe that's the whole point.

It's pretty much illegal to ban sex ed classes, so the puritans who hate such courses are trying another tactic to strangle the programs. Literally.

The real question is: (2)

skund (982546) | more than 2 years ago | (#39084633)

Will they get someone in the classrom with a beeper who will beep over those words? That would be awsome!

I hate to refer to Family Guy, but... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#39086111)

...I do remember there was one episode where the FCC decided censorship of the TV and radio wasn't enough and began to bleep out the characters' words and stuff. Is this a case of life imitating art?

Re:Our repressed media is bad enough (5, Insightful)

roman_mir (125474) | more than 2 years ago | (#39084701)

It's very important to raise generations of people incapable of distilling the real message out of the myriad pieces of nonsense that are bombarding an average person from all the MSM outlets.

There is a very important reason to do this - running a totalitarian war machine is made much easier with a complacent population, it's much easier when the population believes everything it is told.

For example: Iraq was not a threat to USA at any time, nor were they linked to 9/11, but majority of people (70% in that poll) were brainwashed by the politicians and the MSM enough to believe it. [usatoday.com]

Right now every MSM channel in US is pushing Iran war, it's not even a question that the political mind is made up, the MSM system is in all gears to push that nonsense (and of-course US has a 'standing army', so there is nothing really that Congress or POTUS need to do to run that war, there is no need to search for more money, it's all already 'budgeted in'.)

But how do you start, how do you create this insane mind control over the population? Well, you start young. You start with small type of censorship and then you go from there. Thus my previous comment [slashdot.org] (that was moded 'funny' but also a 'troll' as well) stands.

Two words (0)

The Mighty Buzzard (878441) | more than 2 years ago | (#39084893)

Teachers' Unions.

Firing a teacher for anything short of driving their car into the school while drunk and getting a hummer from the head cheerleader is nearly impossible because of them.

Re:Two words (2, Interesting)

pegasustonans (589396) | more than 2 years ago | (#39085101)

Teachers' Unions.

Firing a teacher for anything short of driving their car into the school while drunk and getting a hummer from the head cheerleader is nearly impossible because of them.

Tell that to the 22,000 California teachers laid off last year.

Education is consistently targeted for cuts during this recession, and people keep insisting teachers have it easy.

Wake up. It's our kids that are going to suffer.

Re:Two words (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#39085231)

Firing != laid off

Re:Two words (1)

pegasustonans (589396) | more than 2 years ago | (#39085285)

Firing != laid off

The two are synonymous. Look it up, if you don't believe me.

Re:Two words (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#39085949)

"Laid off" is a synonym for "redundancy". It means "There was nothing wrong with your job performance, but the position is no longer viable and as a result your job is no longer available. Have some money for the inconvenience and good luck in the future."

"Fired" is not a synonym for anything. It means "You're a fuck up. Get the hell out of here."

Re:Two words (2)

newcastlejon (1483695) | more than 2 years ago | (#39086279)

Firing != laid off

The two are synonymous. Look it up, if you don't believe me.

It depends on your dictionary, as with all questions of semantics. However, the point being made boils down to this:

"Firing" is referring to what happens when an employee is dismissed for something they have done, e.g. driving a car through the school while drunk.

Being "laid off" is what happens when an employee is dismissed because they are surplus to requirements and is commonly called "being made redundant" where I'm from (compared with "being sacked").

Re:Two words (2)

xero314 (722674) | more than 2 years ago | (#39088117)

Having survived many layoffs I will tell you that this is incorrect. Layoffs are a way to release a person, for any reason, without having to follow the usual guidelines for termination. This allows companies to not document wrong doings, and to let people go for personal reasons. It is usually done under the guise of resource reduction, but in many cases those laid off employees are replaced with in a years time.

Re:Two words (1)

diamondmagic (877411) | more than 2 years ago | (#39085547)

Contracts allow for downsizing and layoffs due to budget cuts is entirely different. Even tenured professors can be laid off due to budget cuts. Getting fired from a job means you specifically violated your contract or simply aren't performing well, firing for which is something that is near impossible to get away with in many school districts (Case in point: Until recently, New York City's "rubber room", Reason's flow chart of the process [reason.com] or Google preview [google.com] , see also, Washington, DC).

Re:Two words (2, Insightful)

pegasustonans (589396) | more than 2 years ago | (#39085751)

Tenure is there largely to protect educators' ability to teach effectively.

While there are downsides to the system, the upshot is we have teachers who are partially shielded from political or cultural sway so they can decide a curriculum based on reason rather than the popular flavor of the season.

You can talk about introducing a merit based system, but all this will do is create a popularity contest where effectiveness is measured by how well an educator can mimic whatever is currently in vogue.

You could say the teaching environment suffers when there's a teacher at a school, and they're not very good at what they do, but what about every single teacher at a school being selected based on an artificial politicized ideal? That would be downright frightening, if you ask me.

Re:Our repressed media is bad enough (1)

hoggoth (414195) | more than 2 years ago | (#39086177)

Fuck all of them. Homeschooling for the win.

Re:Our repressed media is bad enough (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#39086345)

religion..

Teaching creatonism _as truth_ instead of evolution could certainly be considered abusive as well as a waste of valuable time.

Parents teach children to swear (1)

kawabago (551139) | more than 2 years ago | (#39086585)

This is just stupid.

Re:Our repressed media is bad enough (1)

Phoobarnvaz (1030274) | more than 2 years ago | (#39087061)

Having lived in Arizona before I moved to Idaho...every time I hear about stuff like this from Arizona/Oklahoma/Mississippi I almost give myself a concussion when slapping my forehead. The only difference seems to be Arizona seems to using a warp powered star ship aimed toward the ground at warp 100 on their way to hit the bottom of the pile the fastest.

If these "legislators" enact this BS...they are also public employees. When they are forced to live their lives by the same shackles as they are putting on the teachers/college educators in their personal/professional lives...this BS will not happen.

Re:Our repressed media is bad enough (1)

negRo_slim (636783) | more than 2 years ago | (#39088285)

Having lived in Arizona before I moved to Idaho...every time I hear about stuff like this from Arizona/Oklahoma/Mississippi I almost give myself a concussion when slapping my forehead.

Luna's education agenda [magicvalley.com] is just as asinine as any sort of state sanctioned No Cussing Club [nocussing.com] . Laptops and iPads does not a good education make.

Censorship (5, Insightful)

roman_mir (125474) | more than 2 years ago | (#39084445)

Censorship must start early in life, that's the first rule of government running propag... education system.

Re:Censorship (-1, Flamebait)

Pharmboy (216950) | more than 2 years ago | (#39084525)

I keep telling you people, the federal government has no business in public education, the local and state government. As stupid as this bill seems, the next "logical" step would be for Obama to force it on the rest of the nation. Keeping all education local would prevent this stupidity from leaving Arizona's borders.

Re:Censorship (4, Interesting)

Ardeaem (625311) | more than 2 years ago | (#39084573)

I keep telling you people, the federal government has no business in public education, the local and state government. As stupid as this bill seems, the next "logical" step would be for Obama to force it on the rest of the nation.

You think it is "logical" that Obama is just itching to pass a federal version of a state decency law written by a bunch of conservative Republicans? That word, "logical", I do not think it means what you think it means.

Keeping all education local would prevent this stupidity from leaving Arizona's borders.

That sure worked with local control of science standards and creationism, didn't it?

Re:Censorship (1)

FrkyD (545855) | more than 2 years ago | (#39085601)

sounds like he went to school in Arizona.

Re:Censorship (1)

AF_Cheddar_Head (1186601) | more than 2 years ago | (#39084883)

RTFS, it is a state bill, not federal. Trying to use the FCC standard not put the FCC into the school. Looks like the Arizona reps are ceding classroom decorum standards to the state, how's them apples.

Re:Censorship (1)

AF_Cheddar_Head (1186601) | more than 2 years ago | (#39084911)

Sorry to the feds

Re:Censorship (2)

no-body (127863) | more than 2 years ago | (#39085661)

RTFS, it is a state bill, not federal. Trying to use the FCC standard not put the FCC into the school. Looks like the Arizona reps are ceding classroom decorum standards to the state, how's them apples.

You are using the "F" letter in an inappropriate way - you are being watched!

Re:Censorship (1)

Pharmboy (216950) | more than 2 years ago | (#39086741)

If you actual would bother to read my post, I know it is a state statute. I said as much. The problem is that it gives ideas to to the fed, which could impose the same standard on other states, including states that don't want it, or they don't get their "education funding". That is the complaint. Let Arizona do something stupid, that is fine, the problem is that many fed programs (Obama care, for instance) started out as state programs, and the fed comes in and pushed it down everyone's gullet. This is why it is important to leave education at the state level. If a mistake is made (this is likely one of those times) the amount of damage is limited to that one state. If a state passes a law that actually works, then other states are free to copy it. Not all laws will work in all states, and when the fed gets involved (and lets face it, they always do) then they fuck things up.

Re:Censorship (-1)

jellomizer (103300) | more than 2 years ago | (#39084617)

And those words they can't say really help the students how?

Fuck: used to express an extreme usually negative.
Shit: the same as "stuff" usually of poorer quality.
Piss: usually ment that you want to degrade something.
Cunt: Usually as a way to insult woman or challenges a mans sexual preference.
Cocksucker: usually as stating someone is a cheat or morally deplorable.
Motherfucker: something that is really bad.
Tits: this is more often to refer the the breasts and nipples. Can be used to degrade ones manly qualities.

These words are often used because they are unable to come with the proper vocabulary word of the time. Shows when someone is being more emotional then thoughtful.

Also pedafiles tend to use such language to get kids attracted to them.

Re:Censorship (4, Insightful)

roman_mir (125474) | more than 2 years ago | (#39084721)

And those words they can't say really help the students how?

- :) it doesn't. It helps the authorities with an early start of conditioning people into believing that what government authority (and any kind of authority) tells them is the truth.

It's not about 'fuck' and all the other Carlin's favourites, it's about "Iraq was tied to Al Qaeda", "Hussein tied to 9/11", "Iran has nuclear weapons", "Iran is a threat to USA". It's about "Income taxes on the rich improve the economy". It's about "Income equality is government's mandate". It's about "Paper currency is money". It's about "Bailouts are necessary to save the economy".

That's what it really is all about.

Re:Censorship (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#39085177)

Need to have minus 10 informative moderation here.

Re:Censorship (1)

Johann Lau (1040920) | more than 2 years ago | (#39084735)

did you just call george carlin a pedophile?

Re:Censorship (1)

Dexter Herbivore (1322345) | more than 2 years ago | (#39084749)

These words are often used because they are unable to come with the proper vocabulary word of the time. Shows when someone is being more emotional then thoughtful. Also pedafiles tend to use such language to get kids attracted to them.

I can see that you have "come with the proper vocabulary word of the time." Perhaps before commenting on the use of language, you should learn how to write it first. Swearing and cursing are entirely appropriate in certain situations and admittedly your point (once I deciphered it) has some merit, apart from the part about 'pedafiles'.

Re:Censorship (1)

commlinx (1068272) | more than 2 years ago | (#39084763)

Also pedafiles tend to use such language to get kids attracted to them.

Nice you're thinking of the children, but thank fuck you're not an English teacher.

Re:Censorship (4, Funny)

roman_mir (125474) | more than 2 years ago | (#39084793)

fuck yeah, the motherfucking shitty 'education' system has gone tits up enough already! Everybody and their cocksucking cunts should be pissed!

Re:Censorship (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#39087105)

haha tits up. I don't know why, but every time I hear or read that I can't help but laugh. It just sounds hilarious.

There are so many things wrong with this ... (5, Insightful)

Daniel Dvorkin (106857) | more than 2 years ago | (#39084469)

... it's hard to know where to even start. But possibly the absolute worst is at the end of Paragraph B:

B. For the purposes of this section, "public school" means a public preschool program, a public elementary school, a public junior high school, a public middle school, a public high school, a public vocational education program, a public community college or a public university in this state.

(emphasis mine)

For K-12 teachers, okay, I can kind of see this, although the penalties seem Draconian and I'm willing to bet that they already have in-school codes of conducts that prohibit swearing in the classroom. But are they actually saying that this is going to apply to professors in a classroom full of people who are legally adults? To discussions of literature containing the word "fuck"? To research faculty in their labs? Seriously?

Apparently the bill's sponsor, Lori Klein, showed off her gun by aiming it at a reporter [huffingtonpost.com] a while back. That tells you everything you need to know about the mentality of the people behind this. They're completely insane. Um, apeshit, if you will. And they're growing in power all over the country.

Re:There are so many things wrong with this ... (5, Insightful)

WrongSizeGlass (838941) | more than 2 years ago | (#39084529)

Good luck teaching sex ed or even physiology. The good news is that using the FCC guidelines teachers will be able to cover anything that is extremely violent.

I think this is still push back for declaring "Make Love, Not War".

Re:There are so many things wrong with this ... (4, Interesting)

Daniel Dvorkin (106857) | more than 2 years ago | (#39084553)

I think this is still push back for declaring "Make Love, Not War".

I think you're right. They lost the culture war decades ago, and deep down they know it, but they're going to keep fighting to make the mopping-up operation as nasty as possible.

Re:There are so many things wrong with this ... (1)

jpapon (1877296) | more than 2 years ago | (#39084907)

To discussions of literature containing the word "fuck"?

Indeed... it would seem that this law would make most courses in modern literature null and void. If the teacher can't say the words, then certainly it follows that the curriculum cannot contain books which contain the words. This would also seem to prohibit all anatomy, sexual/gender studies, much of biology, most of film studies, etc etc...

Re:There are so many things wrong with this ... (1)

nbauman (624611) | more than 2 years ago | (#39085719)

To discussions of literature containing the word "fuck"?

That's right. No more Alan Ginsberg, Ezra Pound, Chaucer.

Re:There are so many things wrong with this ... (4, Funny)

mooingyak (720677) | more than 2 years ago | (#39086211)

I'm kind of curious where the impetus for this is coming from. Is Arizona suffering from a rash of swearing teachers? Are children all across the state going home and saying "Hey Mommy, my English teacher said the guy she picked up in the bar last night fucked her good, and we were all like 'No Ms. Jones, he fucked you well!"

An excuse! (2)

SuricouRaven (1897204) | more than 2 years ago | (#39084483)

It's actually very difficult to fire a public school teacher in the US. Take, for example, the case of Freshwater. Not only did he repeatly ignore the curriculum, but he used his position as a teacher to preach his religious views to the class, and then *repeatly burned students*. Yes, he actually branded them. Used the science equipment to physically injure them. You might think that if a teacher does that he'd be fired on the spot, but it actually took months of paperwork and reviews to get him fired - and then he appealed it in a legal battle that cost the school millions of dollars.

I picked him out because he should be well-known to the slashdot crowd, but this isn't a liberal-vs-conservative thing. There are plenty of teachers from both sides who like to use their position to advance their own agenda (It's why some of them become reachers) and a lot who are simply incompetant. They are just very difficult and very expensive to get rid of. Teachers have some very powerful unions, and have used that power to achieve incredible job security.

So think.. what would schools really like to help manage their teachers? How about some rule that is hard to obey, ideally so convoluted that you'd need a lawyer just to work out what it permits, and for which offenders can be promply sacked? The FCC standards are ideal. Hard to even figure out, and it only takes a momentary lapse of thought to violate them. The law appears to have no right of appeal, no board review. It's just written for selective enforcement. If the management wants to continue employing a teacher, they can just turn a blind eye to the occasional bit of mild profanity... but if they want rid of a teacher, all they need to do is wait. When the rules are so difficult to follow, everyone will slip up sooner or later. Indecency becomes the perfect excuse.

Exactly what that results in would just depend on the school. It might be used as a quick-and-sneaky way to fire inept teachers without having to go through years of reviews and appeals, which is good. But equally it might be used for ideological clensing, so management can more easily stock the school with a staff who will indoctrinate the students into their own political agenda.

Re:An excuse! (4, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#39084595)

That is an idiotic example. Hurting students or otherwise inappropriately taking advantage of them leads to a fine or prison.
This is a level where the school need not and _should_ not be involved, criminal prosecution is none of their business.
And I really doubt it is hard to fire someone who is in prison and can't come to work.
Also that the court process cost "millions of dollars" has nothing to do with teachers but only with a completely and thoroughly dysfunctional US court system, which basically tried to find anything that could be done wrong and then implemented it.

Re:An excuse! (1)

SuricouRaven (1897204) | more than 2 years ago | (#39084713)

In Freshwater's case, none of the student's he burned or their families agreed to press charges. One of them did sue Freshwater for damages, but the case was settled out of court for undisclosed terms. He was suspended in 2008, but it took two years to actually get him fired - for all of which he was comfortably doing nothing at all and still getting full pay for it.

That is how hard it is to get a teacher fired. Even if one goes so far as to burn students (admitidly volunteers) with a high voltage generator in direct violation of a clear safety warning, and to burn them with a crucific no less, in front of multible witness, for which one sues demanding compensation, and with the offending burn documented photographically... even after all that, it *STILL* takes two years on full pay to get him fired! It would actually have been easier to convict him for assault (The consent of a minor to be physically injured isn't worth much in court) if any of the parents had wished to press charges, rather then just one of them seeing it as a chance for a quick and lucrative settlement.

Re:An excuse! (1)

jpapon (1877296) | more than 2 years ago | (#39084929)

I'm not defending the guy, but it seems quite telling that none of the students or families wanted to press charges. If some asshole burned my kid with a crucifix I sure as hell would press charges. Something else was going on there. I guarantee if my high school physics teacher had caused physical harm to anyone, she would have been in jail by sundown.

Re:An excuse! (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#39085141)

At my school it would be more likely that one of the parents would show up and either beat the crap out of the teacher, or maybe the students would do it themselves.

I don't live in the US.

Preaching religious dogma (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#39084631)

Do you think maybe the reason why it was so hard to get him thrown out was BECAUSE he was preaching religion?

Re:Preaching religious dogma (1)

MysteriousPreacher (702266) | more than 2 years ago | (#39084695)

Freshwater was nutty, even by Pentecostal standards. Even so, he wasn't short on support. The cross burning thing had a somewhat limiting effect on his support. The people coming out strong for Freshman were the fringe wingnuts.

Religion does indeed complicate this. While Freshwater and his fellow fundies have no regard for the constitutional protections for faith and lack thereof, the state must do things by the book. That will unfortunately lead to delays, and having to entertain spurious legal challenges. I just hope that Freshwater was required to settle the school's legal bills.

Re:Preaching religious dogma (1)

SuricouRaven (1897204) | more than 2 years ago | (#39084719)

Quite likely. From what I read at the time, there was a lot of quite hostile dispute within the student population between those who believed Freshwater had overstepped the bounds by preaching in class and the devout Christian faction of the student body who believed he he was preaching as the Lord commended. I never read of any incidents of violence, but there were claims of defaced lockers, torn-up workbooks and intimidation. All the common bullying tactics as each side did their best to drive the other into shutting up or leaving the school. I can't say how much of that was actually true though, because trying to seperate truth from rumor in a population of students is almost as hard as doing so on the internet - and all I ever had access to, not being at that school myself, were third-hand accounts on blogs.

Re:An excuse! (2)

funkylovemonkey (1866246) | more than 2 years ago | (#39085199)

Except that Freshwater was immediately suspended without pay following the allegations, which is as good as firing, until the hearing was completed. The length it took had to do with the very difficult to prove allegations. The fact that most parents weren't willing to press charges is one of the reasons it was so difficult to fire him. Not only that but some of the more extreme examples from the case like the burning were almost impossible to prove as the student who claimed it was never allowed to be physically examined and never went to a hospital, despite the fact it almost certainly would have warranted it. In fact that was not why he was terminated since the person in charge of investigating reported that “Once sworn testimony was presented, it [became] obvious that speculation and imagination had pushed reality aside." Instead he was fired for incorrectly teaching evolution. Depending on the state it;s actually not that difficult to fire teachers, despite what you might hear in the media, you just need cause. The fact that Freshwater sued for wrongful termination has nothing to do with a broken school system and everything to do with the legal system. He had a right to sue, and he lost costing him almost a million dollars as well.

Gym class + shower = FCC violation (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#39084485)

Gonna skip showers after gym class ?

Sex ed ?

As long as it applies to the students, as well ... (1)

PolygamousRanchKid (1290638) | more than 2 years ago | (#39084497)

... then they might end up with a lot of empty classrooms. Great for saving school system costs.

. . . the details strike me as silly . . ."

"Oh, what sad times are these when ruffian teachers are allowed by FCC regulations to say 'Ni!' at will to school children!"

Great way to fire all the teachers (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#39084531)

This law would, of course, effectively give the ability to fire any public school teacher at any time, given that it doesn't limit itself to conduct in the classroom, or in public, and thus would disallow urination and defecation on the teachers' part.

"Reasonable"? (5, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#39084583)

How are these goals in any way reasonable?

Some balance was needed (-1)

lucm (889690) | more than 2 years ago | (#39084591)

In Chicago public schools, students go to school less than 6 hours a day and 170 days a year. This is one hour less per day and 10 days less per year than a typical schedule; between kindergarten and the end of high school the difference is almost 4 years.

Why shorter days and shorter years? So the schools can afford the teachers, who make (for that shorter schedule) the same salary as the teachers in other regions with a longer schedule. The union is very powerful and puts the benefits of its members before the mission of the schools - statistics about Chicago students reaching university are abysmal.

So while this whole thing in Arizona is a joke, at least it comes from a good place: a concern for the students. I guess the Universe needed to reestablish equilibrium.

Reasonable ? (4, Insightful)

mbone (558574) | more than 2 years ago | (#39084621)

While the goal of the bill may seem reasonable,

This is the Arizona Republican Party we are talking about here. Of course the goals of this Bill are not reasonable.

College (1)

SJHillman (1966756) | more than 2 years ago | (#39084689)

I'm glad this doesn't apply to college. The first day of the capstone class of my major, our assignment was "I want two pages on the following topic: Why the fuck are you guys here?"

Of course, that was the sixth class I had with that particular professor, so things were a little more laid back.

Re:College (1)

jpapon (1877296) | more than 2 years ago | (#39084937)

Actually, it does apply to public universities.

Re:College (1)

twotailakitsune (1229480) | more than 2 years ago | (#39084963)

It does apply. (well public universities and Colleges)

Unclear wording (1)

Thwacht (2562409) | more than 2 years ago | (#39084703)

"If a person who provides classroom instruction in a public school engages in speech or conduct that would violate the standards..." The way this is worded makes it sound as if public school teachers risk being fired for violating FCC standards at any time -- even outside of the classroom, away from school or at home. Like, they could fire you for cussing at the bar after work, or stepping out to grab your paper without making sure all your bits were properly covered.

FCC can't interpret their own rules. (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#39084709)

The FCC doesn't even know how to interpret its own indecency laws themselves and they are before the Supreme Court on this very issue this term. So now we are going to get third parties to interpret it for fourth parties? With something that has nothing to do with Federal or Communications? Yea. Ok.

Shock Value (1)

lewko (195646) | more than 2 years ago | (#39084755)

I'm guessing Howard Stern won't be a substitute teacher any time soon.

Think less, not more (1)

flyneye (84093) | more than 2 years ago | (#39084781)

Yet another chunk of government that needs 90% less power than it has.

No Swearing Damnit! (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#39084933)

The FCC is great because when I worked as a radio DJ, I couldn't play music that had swears, but the track "Christraping Black Metal" by Marduk doesn't have any swears, and you can't make the case that it appeals to the prurient interest unless you're a rape fetishist. It just really doesn't work the way they intend it to.

define "decency" (1)

X10 (186866) | more than 2 years ago | (#39085001)

"Decency" is a subjective thing. What's not decent in the US, may be perfectly decent, or even boring, in most EU countries. What's not decent in the US, like showing a nipple, is prime time TV in the Netherlands. I want my kids to have a free mind and a fair amount of knowledge about sex, so they don't get a girl pregnant and they don't catch diseases. Puritanism causes teen pregnancies, so let's not introduce this bs into the class room. It's bad enough as it is.

Cultural differences (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#39085107)

In northern Norway, crude words is considered a natural part of the language. I can literally go out and call a police officer hestkuk (horse cock) or hvalfætt (whale pussy), and nobody would fucking care.

Regards from Tromsø, Norway.

Nice (4, Insightful)

SmallFurryCreature (593017) | more than 2 years ago | (#39085139)

I can only guess that teachers in Arizona are not in the habit of ripping off nipple shields... so what is this really guarding against? Bad language? Most teachers have to look up the curse words of kids.

No, this isn't about teachers mis-behaving. This is about art, sexual education and the "wrong" kind of books. There are plenty of parents who want to sanitize all education so that little Timmy doesn't learn anything that might upset his parents and this is the way to do it. Don't bother banning books, art or subjects, simply say that undecent things are not allowed and then watch teachers censor themselves to not loose their jobs.

Real nice.

Well (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#39085165)

There go all the best teachers I had in public school. And let us not forget that these "curse words" are nothing more than a nearly thousand year old class war dating back to William the Bastard (or, as he's sometimes known by those less hostile toward him and his legacy, William the Conqueror). Almost the entirety of our profanities are made up of normal Anglo-Saxon words which were discriminated against by the conquerors to put the conquered in their place (for instance, "fuck" means "to strike"). Same time we got words like "pork" and "beef" instead of "pig" and "cow" at the dinner table. And it's a good fucking thing this kind of law wasn't in place, or this important history lesson might not have been imparted to me by one of my more "foul-mouthed" teachers.

It's not just about the classroom, it's everywhere (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#39085195)

http://studentactivism.net/2012/02/09/arizona-law-sb-1467-would-make-it-illegal-to-teach-law-history-or-literature/

If you ever so anything that wasn't broadcast safe, even in the privacy of your own home, you're violating the law. So no more showering, changing clothes, or using the toilet teachers!
Lets see how the students, parents, and legislators prefer your new FCC-safe stench.

Only two unions left in AZ with balls... (4, Insightful)

rocket rancher (447670) | more than 2 years ago | (#39085461)

...the mines and the teachers. This is a swift kick to the latter's. Unions are only as strong as their cash boxes are deep. Force the Arizona teacher's unions to start defending members in court against something as wide open to interpretation as FCC decency standards, and that will drain the cashbox very quickly. A brilliant tactic on the part of the union busters; Arizona has long been a "right-to-work" state (read: anti-union) and this will effectively take the teacher's union out of the game if it gets through the legislature.

Re:Only two unions left in AZ with balls... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#39086215)

Government worker unions are unethical. They collect dues and pay to elect the people who negoiate their pay. Its a simple matter to say you pay us an extra $10 and we will give your campaign $5 of it. Who pays for this corruption? The rest of the people in the state who are called racists for bring up such corruption.

Stop promoting the corruption that is the DNC and government employee unions and spending will get under control nearly instantly.

Re:Only two unions left in AZ with balls... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#39086245)

Which really means the AZ teacher's union should strongly encourage its entire membership to relocate to other districts across the country. Spend its money not on defending members, but on their moving expenses.

Obviously, the classrooms will be perfectly decent without teachers in them to be obscene..

Pandering (1)

klifford (2564585) | more than 2 years ago | (#39085727)

One of the best teachers I ever had called a student a dumbass once, as a joke. I like to think that I came out alright, nobody took it seriously. The country didn't devolve into horrible uncivilized masses, the Earth didn't fall into the sun, the universe didn't implode. It's not like students don't here a lot worse things at lunch anyway. Who are we really protecting, and to what extent? To the extent that it requires legislation? I think not.

We have the worst Republicans in the country in Az (1)

orphiuchus (1146483) | more than 2 years ago | (#39085741)

And I say that as a Republican. Just recently we had a group of them go after our University funding, claiming that if tuition is higher then the students will benefit because they'll value their educations more. The moron pushing this had a degree from the University of Pheonix.

They all get elected on a mix of religious social issues and their oppositions refusal to admit that illegal immigration is a problem(even though Arizona is now the kidnapping capital of the country and there are entire sections of the desert near Tucson where you just can't go anymore thanks to the smugglers, including national parks).

I guess that all you can say is most of them aren't corrupt. They're generally too stupid to be corrupt.

Funny how this sort of thing works (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#39086061)

It's interesting how this sort of situation works out at my school. I don't mean to offend anyone but a 9th grade english teacher is much easier to replace than a multivariable calculus teacher, the result being that the 9th grade english teacher follows every rule to the word, and the multivariable teacher just doesn't give a fuck. Which is fair enough because the kids in that class are mature enough to understand what's okay and what's not, the teacher occasionally cursing and not paying attention to attendance isn't going to have some huge impact on the students' life. Contrary to popular stereotypes, the kids I've been with in higher level classes are way better off socially than kids in easier ones. They also know whether or not they need to go to class, and have already figured out when cursing is okay and when it's not, so this kind of thing isn't a huge deal.

Reminds me of US Navy boot camp (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#39086189)

Some panty waisted recruit complained about a RDC (recruit division commander) dropping JFCs at us when the division was fucking up. So, since today's Navy is the kinder, gentler Navy, the RDC got written up and chewed out for it. I mean damn, this is boot camp, RDCs are suppose to curse at you and drop JFCs, etcs. I'm not saying that this type of behaviour is appropriate for K-12, but in a college environment, I enjoy having an animated Prof who will drop an F bomb now and then to make his point.

What this says to me (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#39086403)

Two free naked days!

The goal seems reasonable? Really? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#39087109)

The goal only seems reasonable if you're an ultra-rightist, paleoconservative, Evangelical super-Christian nutjob. This is asinine and should be treated as such.

One big problem with this. (1)

cshark (673578) | more than 2 years ago | (#39087359)

Literature, even classic literature contains profanity, sex, and violence that would make the FCC rules nazis cringe. Does it really make sense to limit a child's education by omitting it? Figures though, schools in America are already among the worst in the world. Why not go just that little extra distance to seal that worst in the world title?
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