Under proposed law, teachers could face 6 months in jail for teaching “offensive” material

By John Vibes | Free Thought Project

SHAWNEE, Kansas – A newly proposed bill in the Kansas State Legislature would threaten teachers with time in jail if they happened to teach anything that could be considered “harmful” for children.

The bill was inspired by a recent outrage that was caused by the material in a sex education class.

“There was a list of sexual acts, some of which were highly offensive,” the bill’s sponsor, Sen. Mary Pilcher-Cook, said in a statement.

However, as with much of the legislation on the books throughout the country, the wording is particularly vague and could be interpreted in many different ways. According to the bill, any teacher who provides material for students that can be considered offensive by “any reasonable person,” they could potentially face time in jail.

These are highly subjective and arbitrary conditions, as many different things are offensive to many different people. Making matters even more difficult is the fact that schools are a melting pot of many different cultures and ideas, so it is likely that parents will have a variety of different opinions about how their children should be raised and treated.

As federal employees, educators are shielded from criminal prosecution in cases like this, much in the same way that police are shielded from legal consequences when they are behind the badge. This newly proposed legislation would not only strip away that exemption, but also impose potential penalties on the educators as well.

They probably wouldn’t want to be held accountable for every individual parent’s preferences,” said parent Megan Smith.

Micah Kubic, the executive director of the ACLU of Kansas said that this could have a chilling effect on teachers and cause them to self-censor to prevent themselves from getting into trouble.

Read full report via Free Thought Project