A newly-proposed bill, called the “G-Rated” bill, would make it legal to suspend teachers at public institutions if their speech or conduct is not “proper.” An instructor could be penalized if he or she “engages in speech or conduct that would violate the standards adopted by the Federal Communications Commission concerning obscenity, indecency and profanity if that speech were broadcast on television or radio.”
On the first offense, the instructor would be suspended for a week without pay. On the second offense, he or she would be slapped with a two-week suspension without pay and expulsion for the third.
Proposed by Arizona Republican Sen. Lori Klein, it would restrict any “person who provides classroom instruction” starting with preschool teachers all the way up to college professors.
Timothy Secomb, a University of Arizona physiology professor, is concerned with the roadblocks instructors may face when it comes time to lecture on the reproductive system and sexual behaviors.
“If I was talking about the spread of sexually transmitted disease then one has to talk about the ways people have sex,” he said. “There’s no way around that. Basically these rules would interfere with normal and necessary education of our students.” He also fears that it could interfere with lectures on literature that has vulgarities or racial slurs.
This bill has me deeply concerned. What worries me the most is that Arizona could have professors walking on pins and needles when it comes time to talk about sex or non-conservative literature.
Education should never be censored, especially at the college level, where students are paying big bucks to receive a well-rounded education. I’m sorry Arizona senators, but the FCC’s restrictions are for half-time show nipple slips, not education.