AUGUSTA – According to Representative Larry Lockman, R-Bradley, there has been too many times where a teacher has used the classroom as a bully pulpit.
“Too many teachers and administrators view the classroom as the taxpayer-funded soapbox to promote their personal opinions on politics,” Rep. Lockman said.
Now Representative Lockman has created a bill to stymie teachers from bringing in politics into the classroom.
“The code is about preventing K-12 classrooms from becoming partisan political platforms and to keep their captive youthful audiences from being victims of partisan political indoctrination by their teachers,” said Rep. Lockman.
But there are opponents of his bill that state that it is simply a way to control what teachers can and cannot say in the classroom, and that it is a way to silence teachers whose views differ from what they call the conservative agenda.
One opponent in attendance at a hearing for the bill Thursday said, “Yet this bill is neither liberal or conservative, it is fascist, not unlike Hitler’s unsuccessful attempt at controlling everything the media communicated and everything teachers could and couldn’t say in schools.
But Representative Lockman says that his bill is pretty straightforward about what it’s purpose is with teachers.
“They should leave their personal opinion at the schoolhouse door, they should present both sides of these controversial issues and we can have robust discussions and debates in the classroom as long as we got some ground rules going in there,” Rep. Lockman says.
He states the bill is a proposal meant to set a template to initiate a set of rules to be drafted by the state board of education and once those rules are drafted, then each school’s administration can enforce the rules how they see fit.