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PHILADELPHIA (CBS) — Schools are places of learning, reading, writing, and arithmetic. They are also a place for debate and open dialogue, but talking politics and government in Pennsylvania schools could be a thing of the past if one lawmaker gets his way.
Rep. Will Tallman, a Republican from Adams County, sent a memo to all 203 members of the House Friday pitching his proposal for what he’s dubbed the “Teacher Code of Ethics.”
That proposal contains a possible bill which would ban discussions in all kindergarten through 12-grade classrooms if approved.
“Our K-12 school teachers should not be using their classroom time spent on political or ideological indoctrination,” Tallman said in his memo. “Doing so takes time away from instruction in the academic foundation subjects of mathematics, science, English, history, and civics, and prevents our students from receiving a high-quality public education for careers in the global, high-tech economy.”
The potential bill has been met with strong opinions from people on both sides of the debate.
Some thought the proposal would prevent biased opinions from instructors with extreme ideas.
“The teachers shouldn’t be the ones to influence the students at any stage,” says one person in agreement with the proposed bill.
Drexel politics professor Bill Rosenberg says the idea is far-fetched and could be a disaster if ever implemented in Pennsylvania schools.
“In education, you’re supposed to have ideas and discussions. You’re supposed to have give and take,” explains Rosenberg.
Rosenberg says if you’re not pleased with opinions in class, simply speak up, and have a passionate debate.
“As an educator, they’re required to bring out the important issues, have discussions and let the people in their class make their own decisions,” Rosenberg adds.
Without that dialogue, the world would be mindless slugs.
Experts say this possible piece of legislation stands little chance of becoming law since the legislature’s session ends Nov. 30 and the bill hasn’t even been officially written nor voted on.