All posts by Charles Tolson

Can teachers be political?

First of all, BOO! We wish you a Happy Halloween and look forward to pictures on social media of professional educators wearing silly costumes.

Today is a good day to remind you of a provision in the Texas Education Code that some people may have forgotten about. Here is T.E.C. 21.407(b):

A school district board of trustees or school district employee may not directly or indirectly coerce any teacher to refrain from participating in political affairs in the teacher’s community, state, or nation.

I take that to mean that it’s perfectly OK for teachers to “be political.” Of course their political activities should not interfere with job responsibilities. Nor should teachers try to take advantage of the captive audience of students they talk to every day in an effort to get the kids to think about political affairs as the teacher does.

But teachers spend a majority of their lives away from their jobs and this statute is designed to give them the assurance that their involvement in politics will not harm them professionally. We have an election coming up next week and early voting is going on right now. We will be electing state leaders who will make many decisions that directly affect the quality of our public schools.

So I hope that you are encouraging teachers to get involved. Study the issues. Study the candidates. Vote. Get involved. It’s legally protected.


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Tomorrow: Toolbox Tuesday!!