What is “inappropriate in a school setting”????

It’s interesting to see which new laws generate the most interest.  As I do my Back to School presentations, I notice some things. People are very engaged and interested in the new laws about bullying and teachers crossing the invisible line with students.  But the discussion of those issues, important as they are, does not generate a lot of questions or “what ifs.” However, when we get to SB 1553 the room comes alive. This is the one about ejecting unruly people from campus. Apparently, this is happening!  Who knew?

Some of the questions revolve around the phrase “inappropriate in a school setting.” What does that mean? What if the person is dressed in a way that is overly revealing?  How about the parent who “insists” on having lunch with the student every day, even when school policy limits parents to two days a week?

We’re having a lot of fun thinking up hypothetical, or not so hypothetical, situations that may arise.  As a general rule, I think “inappropriate in a school setting” leaves you school administrators with a lot of discretion.  If experienced school administrators believe that a person’s behavior is “inappropriate in a school setting” then it probably is.  Obviously you will want to avoid any enforcement of this law that would be discriminatory or infringe on parental rights. But your judgment as to appropriate standards of civility is likely to be upheld.  Keep in mind that the appeal of your judgment about this 28is unlikely to end up in court. The appeal process goes to your superintendent and then to the school board. If they share your view of what is “inappropriate in a school setting” then you are on solid ground.

I don’t expect any of this to come up today, however. Today I’m doing the Back to School at Region 17 in Lubbock, where no one ever behaves inappropriately.  Polite folks there in Lubbock.  Seldom is heard a discouraging word.


Tomorrow: Speaking of football, did you know that the Hook Em Horns sign is satanic?  Me neither!