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‘American Idiots’: Arizona State Senate Introduces Bill Banning ANY ‘Non- G-Rated’ Speech by Teachers & College Professors, In OR Out of the Classroom

What the fuck is wrong with (some) people in Arizona?

All politics aside, there are some seriously batshit crazy lawmakers in the Grand Canyon state, folks who seem to get off on waging war against education. First they outlawed ethnic studies (in a state where Mexican-Americans are the largest single ethnic group), a ban that included Shakespeare.They even tried to ban karma, for goodness sake!

If the shirt fits… (Photo: Foulmouthshirts.com)

Now that august body of enlightened legislation that is the Arizona state Senate has concocted a laughably unconstitutional bill that would mandate the suspension or termination of teachers or professors (yes, that means even college) who use any language– either in or outside the classroom– that isn’t allowed on network TV.

The  Huffington Post’s Greg Lukianoff points out that the bill, SB 1467, is full of irony: it would effectively bar law professors from discussing two of the most important free speech Supreme Court cases of the past half century, Cohen v. California, in which the Court ruled that a citizen could not be punished for wearing a “Fuck the Draft” jacket, and Papish v. Board of Curators, in which a student newspaper article titled “Motherfucker Acquitted” was affirmed as protected free speech.

SB 1467 would also make it practically impossible for any sort of film studies programs to continue, for almost every great film of the last 40 years or so contains language that violates the provisions of the bill.

Forget about any classes or subjects dealing with human sexuality too.

Because it is so flagrantly unconstitutional, SB 1467 hasn’t got an undocumented immigrant’s chance in Arizona of passing, or at least of standing up to judicial scrutiny outside the state if it does somehow manage to pass (this is Arizona we’re talking about, after all).

Here’s the actual text of SB 1467, lest anyone think I’m pulling this shit out of my ass:

15-108. Public classrooms; compliance with federal standards for media broadcasts concerning obscenity, indecency and profanity; violations; definition
A. If a person who provides classroom instruction in a public school engages in speech or conduct that would violate the standards adopted by the federal communications commission concerning obscenity, indecency and profanity if that speech or conduct were broadcast on television or radio:

1. For the first occurrence, the school shall suspend the person, at a minimum, for one week of employment, and the person shall not receive any compensation for the duration of the suspension. This paragraph does not prohibit a school after the first occurrence from suspending the person for a longer duration or terminating the employment of that person.

2. For the second occurrence, the school shall suspend the person, at a minimum, for two weeks of employment, and the person shall not receive any compensation for the duration of the suspension. This paragraph does not prohibit a school after the second occurrence from suspending the person for a longer duration or terminating the employment of that person.

3. For the third occurrence, the school shall terminate the employment of the person. This paragraph does not prohibit a school after the first or second occurrence from terminating the employment of that person.

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.

Notice how the language of the bill doesn’t indicate where or when the ban on profanity applies, as it is currently written, one can only assume that any person who provides classroom instruction in public schools can never engage in speech or conduct that would violate FCC obscenity, indecency or profanity.

Earth to Arizona: there’s obscenity in life. A great deal of adult existence is indecent and profane. We don’t live in a G-rated world. Not even in Arizona.

This has got to be the dumbest fucking bill I’ve seen all goddamned year.

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One Comment

  1. Ms. MFebruary 12, 2012 at 12:41 pmReply

    And it’s only February, Brett! 🙂

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