Dear Dawg: Take a look at my No More Cursing Out the Teacher Act, soon to be introduced to the Texas legislature.

Dear Dawg: I am appalled at what I hear goes on in some of our schools.   Whatever happened to civility? We’ve got parents and others who think it is their constitutional, God-given right to say whatever they want to our teachers, in whatever manner of tone, at whatever time, using whatever language they choose. Threats.  Vulgarity.  Name calling.  It’s a sad day when we can no longer count on basic maturity in people.  Now we have to have laws.

So today I have pre-filed the No More Cursing Out the Teacher Act of 2017.  This bill will make it a misdemeanor for any person to “upbraid, insult, or abuse” any teacher, administrator or bus driver in the presence of students.  Can’t see how anyone could oppose this.  Keep an eye on it, Dawg.  AT LEAST ONE LEGISLATOR SUPPORTS OUR TEACHERS.

DEAR AT LEAST ONE:  OK, so let me make sure I understand how this will work.  If the coach decides to go for it on 4th and 2, and we don’t make it, and I stand up and scream “PUNT NEXT TIME!! WHERE DID YOU LEARN TO COACH?” I’ve committed a crime?   The Dawg loves teachers and administrators and is particularly fond of assistant principals at the middle school. But your bill may run into some trouble.

Georgia passed a bill like this, and the state Supreme Court shot it down.  Overly broad, the court said:

The practical effect of the plain language of [the statute] is that any person—may it be a parent, school system employee, or concerned citizen while on school premises or a school bus—who dares to speak critically to school officials at any time in the presence of minors must leave the premises when so ordered by a school official or face arrest and prosecution for a misdemeanor.

The court concluded, unanimously, that the statute “makes unlawful a substantial amount of constitutionally protected speech.” Like yelling at the coach. The constitution protects that.

The case is West v. State, decided by the Supreme Court of Georgia on October 31, 2016.


File this one under: FIRST AMENDMENT