Bill would bar Arizona teachers from pushing views onto students

Dec 21, 2018, 4:40 AM | Updated: 6:32 am
(Pixabay Photo)...
(Pixabay Photo)
(Pixabay Photo)

PHOENIX — A bill introduced in the Arizona Legislature would bar teachers from pushing their political and religious views onto students.

House Bill 2002 would direct the State Board of Education to come up with a code of ethics for teachers that prohibits them from “engaging in political, ideological or religious advocacy in their classrooms.”

Teachers would also be barred from endorsing political candidates, elected officials, legislation or judicial action while working.

In addition, teachers would not be able to talk about “controversial issues” with their students or blame a group of students for “the suffering or inequities experienced by another racial group of students.”

Michael Baser, who teaches AP government and politics at Mesa High School, said he’s not bothered by the bill.

“Honestly, I think that it is unethical for a teacher to push a political ideology or a religious ideology on their students,” he said.

At the same time, Baser said he thinks the bill “is mostly a solution in search of a problem” because he doesn’t know of any teachers who are trying to push their views onto students.

“Teachers that I know, they don’t want to tell their kids what to think about something,” he said. “They just want to help the students learn how to think critically for themselves.”

“And to do that, we will need to discuss current events, political things, even religious issues as long as we are not pushing a certain ideology,” he added.

Meanwhile, teachers associated with the #RedForEd movement say the practice is already prohibited under Arizona law and that the bill is trying to address a problem that doesn’t exist.

The bill’s sponsor, state Rep. Mark Finchem, disagrees. He said in a statement that he introduced HB 2002 in response to conversations he had with parents and teachers.

“I have good friends who are teachers and they tell me that although they do not promote political agendas in their classrooms, some of their peers do,” he said.

“A code of ethics prohibiting political activity in the classroom shouldn’t be an issue if that behavior isn’t presently happening.”

Lifetime Windows & Doors

We want to hear from you.

Have a story idea or tip? Pass it along to the KTAR News team here.

Arizona News

(KTAR News File Photo)...
Kevin Stone

Police say possible gun at Scottsdale school was just computer equipment

The student who reported a possible gunman at a Scottsdale high school last week actually saw somebody carrying computer equipment, police said.
11 hours ago
(City of Mesa Rendering)...

Mesa breaks ground on northeast public safety facility for police, fire

Mesa officials announced on Monday developers have broken ground on a facility that will house a fire station and police substation.
11 hours ago
President Joe Biden boards Air Force One, Tuesday, Dec. 6, 2022, at Andrews Air Force Base, Md. Bid...

President Joe Biden touring Phoenix chip plant Tuesday, touting economic agenda

President Joe Biden is coming to Phoenix on Tuesday to tour a massive chipmaking plant under construction and tout his economic agenda.
11 hours ago
(File Photo by John Moore/Getty Images)...

2 found shot inside vehicle parked in Buckeye neighborhood

A man and woman were taken to the hospital Monday night after they were found shot inside a vehicle in the West Valley, authorities said.
11 hours ago
Raymond Rey (Photo via Phoenix Police Department)...

Silver Alert issued for Phoenix man missing since end of weekend

A Silver Alert was issued early Tuesday for a missing Phoenix man who has cognitive problems, authorities said.
11 hours ago
(KTAR News Photo/Colton Krolak)...
Colton Krolak

D-backs Winter Classic gives kids clothes, books ahead of holidays

The Diamondbacks on Monday gave back to hundreds of children from elementary schools in the valley as part of the 25th D-backs Winter Classic.
11 hours ago

Sponsored Articles

Quantum Fiber

Stream 4K and more with powerful, high-speed fiber internet

Picking which streaming services to subscribe to are difficult choices, and there is no room for internet that cannot handle increased demands.
Quantum Fiber

How high-speed fiber internet can improve everyday life

Quantum Fiber supplies unlimited data with speeds up to 940 mbps, enough to share 4K videos with coworkers 20 times faster than a cable.
Day & Night Air Conditioning, Heating and Plumbing

Here are 4 signs the HVAC unit needs to be replaced

Pool renovations and kitchen upgrades may seem enticing, but at the forefront of these investments arguably should be what residents use the most. In a state where summertime is sweltering, access to a functioning HVAC unit can be critical.
Bill would bar Arizona teachers from pushing views onto students