Friday, February 10, 2012

Arizona SB 1467 Demands Total Excretion Failure

Mathematician friend Johanna Franklin draws my attention to fantastically ill-drafted Senate Bill 1467 in Arizona, which begins:
A. If a person who provides classroom instruction in a public school engages in speech or conduct that would violate the standards adopted by the federal communications commission concerning obscenity, indecency and profanity if that speech or conduct were broadcast on television or radio:
...and then outlines penalties including a one-week suspension without pay for the first offense, and termination for the third. "Public school" is defined to include everything from public preschools to public elementary schools to public universities.

The catastrophic failure of drafting is that the bill doesn't ever say that the offending "speech or conduct" has to occur while teaching, or in front of students. If any teacher visits the restroom and performs standard human restroom activities (never mind going home and having sex with one's partner) they get suspended and eventually fired. After all, you couldn't show that on TV.

Not that a version of the bill that restricted the restrictions to teaching contexts would be reasonable. You couldn't discuss R-rated movies in college-level film studies classes or explain Cohen vs California in law school. But it's rare that you get legislation so badly drafted that it would render the excretory systems of all public school and university teachers legally unusable.

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