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Arizona Ponders FCC Decency Standards For the Classroom

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  • by pegasustonans (589396) on Saturday February 18, 2012 @06:05AM (#39084417)

    There's no need to bring this puritanical nonsense into the classroom.

    Any good high school teacher should be able to say "you guys need to get your shit together" in good conscience. If, on the other hand, a genuinely bad teacher is abusive towards students, this is a job for the parents and school administration to handle rationally.

    There are already enough rules handed down to schools by politicized bureaucracies to make education a nightmare, why add to the burden with further insanity from the FCC?

    • by Anonymous Coward on Saturday February 18, 2012 @06:19AM (#39084455)

      You can already say "Shit" on TV if I recall, this sounds more like a back door attempt to stop proper sex education in favor of abstinence only propaganda.

      There's no need to bring this puritanical nonsense into the classroom.

      Any good high school teacher should be able to say "you guys need to get your shit together" in good conscience. If, on the other hand, a genuinely bad teacher is abusive towards students, this is a job for the parents and school administration to handle rationally.

      There are already enough rules handed down to schools by politicized bureaucracies to make education a nightmare, why add to the burden with further insanity from the FCC?

      • You can already say "Shit" on TV if I recall, this sounds more like a back door attempt to stop proper sex education in favor of abstinence only propaganda.

        That was my thought too, but it doesn't seem very targetted. It would make sex education difficult and dangerous to teach, even if you follow the rules, but really all it's doing is inviting angry parents to complain about teachers they don't like.

      • by RicktheBrick (588466) on Saturday February 18, 2012 @10:49AM (#39085685)
        I immediately thought of George Carlin and his 7 words routine. I did an internet search and found it on youtube. I know I have not watched it in a while but now it states that I have to sign up to verify that I am over 18 to watch it. This is insanity as I would think that this video would be almost mandatory for young children to watch. It presents a very rational discussion of the 7 words. Here is the link http://www.youtube.com/verify_age?next_url=/watch%3Fv%3D3_Nrp7cj_tM [youtube.com]. I looked at it and decided it was not worth having to attempt to prove I am over 18 to watch it as I have already seen it several times. He asks why we invent a word and than decide it is not appropriate to say? He also says there are no dirty word but just dirty thoughts that those word bring to our minds.
        • by wasme (35127)

          He asks why we invent a word and than decide it is not appropriate to say?

          History.

          Most (but not all) of our 'dirty words' today were regular anglo-saxon English words prior to the Norman invasion of 1066. After the Norman conquest the elites spoke French while commoners continued to speak English. Over time the elites were assimilated into the English speaking community (similar to how China keeps assimilating their conquerors over and over again (e.g. the Mongols, the Manchu)). But this separation that existed and how the elites adopted English leaves a lot of relics in our lang

          • by Muros (1167213)

            'Proper people' would use French-descended terms brought into English. Essentially it was a form of 'class war' in which the elites may have adopted English but they rendered older English vocabulary of the lower classes into something unacceptable.

            And of course, a lot of the time those "proper" words are in fact themselves slang imported from other languages. Eg. penis. This is a latin word meaning tail. What makes it any more acceptable than saying bollocks is a mystery to me.

      • by Nadaka (224565)

        This also requires the teachers themselves to BE abstinent, even if they are married, having sex with their own spouse in the privacy of their own home would violate this law.

      • by antdude (79039)

        When and where? I never hear that word on local broadcast television/TV stations even during late hours. I do hear other words like damn, bastard, etc.

    • Re: (Score:2, Insightful)

      by jellomizer (103300)
      They couldn't tell their students "that they need to get their act together"

      Teachers are often children's only source of professional adults they come across. The teacher really need to be sure that they are professional in their jobs.
      • They couldn't tell their students "that they need to get their act together"

        Teachers are often children's only source of professional adults they come across. The teacher really need to be sure that they are professional in their jobs.

        Where I come from, telling someone they need to get their shit together is perfectly acceptable. I had teachers say precisely this to their classes when I was a student.

        Saying "shit" every once in awhile and swearing up a storm are two different things, and the former is pretty much part of life unless your religion forbids it.

        I'm sure there are jobs where every swear word is counted against you (thank God I don't work there), but graduates entering the work-force should be able to use that other thing the

        • Re: (Score:3, Interesting)

          by xaxa (988988)

          Hmmm... my manager curses occasionally. Generally only when something especially annoying happens -- e.g. her manager has an accident, and she has to cover for him.

          But one of my colleagues says "fuck" as much as some people say "like". "I was, like, arguing with the other guys on the project, like, and they were like, 'Let's do it this way'." becomes, "Fuck, I was arguing with the other guys on the fucking project, and they fucking said 'Let's fucking do it this way'". It's very unprofessional, and I fin

          • "Fuck" is a manly discourse particle. "Like" or "hey" are chirpy words more suitable for the vocal cords of little boys and girls. Direct speech would of course be preferable, but conversation requires a little flair.
          • by mooingyak (720677)

            My wife's brother is the same way, and then gets all pissy when we tell him to stop doing it around the kids.

            I've said 'fuck' now and then in the office, but I'd say it's infrequent, as in less than once a day most of the time.

          • by xero314 (722674)
            I had a friend many years ago who's entire vocabulary consisted of Fuck and Dude, and he made sense doing it.
      • I agree. In fact, this does not go even nearly far enough. All public employees should be prohibited from cursing in public. And that includes politicians. Three strikes and they're out of office permanently.

    • by purpledinoz (573045) on Saturday February 18, 2012 @06:45AM (#39084563)
      The FCC should just stay out of the censoring business and just manage the RF spectrum. Look at the Howard Stern show. Why was he not allowed to talk about sexual topics that Oprah was allowed to talk about? The rules were not clear, and were selectively enforced because the guy at the top didn't like him. Why was Janet Jackson's boob accidentally popping out such a big deal for the FCC? Putting the FCC in the classroom is the worst possible idea ever.
      • by msobkow (48369)

        It'll be interesting to see how you're supposed to run a sex education class with media if "popping boobs" are banned.

        Typical stupid politicians, trying to make a name for themselves and get some media exposure.

        Unfortunately, the general public is likely to nod and say "good idea" rather than think about all the educational material that would be illegal to broadcast in the US.

        Do you realize that in Canada our attitude on sex is so much more liberal that we actually have soft core porn aired after mi

        • by msobkow (48369)

          Then again, maybe that's the whole point.

          It's pretty much illegal to ban sex ed classes, so the puritans who hate such courses are trying another tactic to strangle the programs. Literally.

        • It'll be interesting to see how they run a "feeding a baby" class too. Oh wait, they already got rid of those.
    • Will they get someone in the classrom with a beeper who will beep over those words? That would be awsome!
    • by roman_mir (125474) on Saturday February 18, 2012 @07:32AM (#39084701) Homepage Journal

      It's very important to raise generations of people incapable of distilling the real message out of the myriad pieces of nonsense that are bombarding an average person from all the MSM outlets.

      There is a very important reason to do this - running a totalitarian war machine is made much easier with a complacent population, it's much easier when the population believes everything it is told.

      For example: Iraq was not a threat to USA at any time, nor were they linked to 9/11, but majority of people (70% in that poll) were brainwashed by the politicians and the MSM enough to believe it. [usatoday.com]

      Right now every MSM channel in US is pushing Iran war, it's not even a question that the political mind is made up, the MSM system is in all gears to push that nonsense (and of-course US has a 'standing army', so there is nothing really that Congress or POTUS need to do to run that war, there is no need to search for more money, it's all already 'budgeted in'.)

      But how do you start, how do you create this insane mind control over the population? Well, you start young. You start with small type of censorship and then you go from there. Thus my previous comment [slashdot.org] (that was moded 'funny' but also a 'troll' as well) stands.

    • Teachers' Unions.

      Firing a teacher for anything short of driving their car into the school while drunk and getting a hummer from the head cheerleader is nearly impossible because of them.

      • Re: (Score:3, Interesting)

        by pegasustonans (589396)

        Teachers' Unions.

        Firing a teacher for anything short of driving their car into the school while drunk and getting a hummer from the head cheerleader is nearly impossible because of them.

        Tell that to the 22,000 California teachers laid off last year.

        Education is consistently targeted for cuts during this recession, and people keep insisting teachers have it easy.

        Wake up. It's our kids that are going to suffer.

        • Contracts allow for downsizing and layoffs due to budget cuts is entirely different. Even tenured professors can be laid off due to budget cuts. Getting fired from a job means you specifically violated your contract or simply aren't performing well, firing for which is something that is near impossible to get away with in many school districts (Case in point: Until recently, New York City's "rubber room", Reason's flow chart of the process [reason.com] or Google preview [google.com], see also, Washington, DC).

          • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

            by pegasustonans (589396)

            Tenure is there largely to protect educators' ability to teach effectively.

            While there are downsides to the system, the upshot is we have teachers who are partially shielded from political or cultural sway so they can decide a curriculum based on reason rather than the popular flavor of the season.

            You can talk about introducing a merit based system, but all this will do is create a popularity contest where effectiveness is measured by how well an educator can mimic whatever is currently in vogue.

            You could s

    • by hoggoth (414195)

      Fuck all of them. Homeschooling for the win.

    • This is just stupid.
    • Having lived in Arizona before I moved to Idaho...every time I hear about stuff like this from Arizona/Oklahoma/Mississippi I almost give myself a concussion when slapping my forehead. The only difference seems to be Arizona seems to using a warp powered star ship aimed toward the ground at warp 100 on their way to hit the bottom of the pile the fastest.

      If these "legislators" enact this BS...they are also public employees. When they are forced to live their lives by the same shackles as they are putting
      • Having lived in Arizona before I moved to Idaho...every time I hear about stuff like this from Arizona/Oklahoma/Mississippi I almost give myself a concussion when slapping my forehead.

        Luna's education agenda [magicvalley.com] is just as asinine as any sort of state sanctioned No Cussing Club [nocussing.com]. Laptops and iPads does not a good education make.

        • Laptops and iPads does not a good education make.

          Sure...it makes perfect sense when you realize Luna/his family/associates are going to make a killing from all the kickbacks...even when he's impeached for being so stupid.

  • Censorship (Score:5, Insightful)

    by roman_mir (125474) on Saturday February 18, 2012 @06:16AM (#39084445) Homepage Journal

    Censorship must start early in life, that's the first rule of government running propag... education system.

  • by Daniel Dvorkin (106857) on Saturday February 18, 2012 @06:24AM (#39084469) Homepage Journal

    ... it's hard to know where to even start. But possibly the absolute worst is at the end of Paragraph B:

    B. For the purposes of this section, "public school" means a public preschool program, a public elementary school, a public junior high school, a public middle school, a public high school, a public vocational education program, a public community college or a public university in this state.

    (emphasis mine)

    For K-12 teachers, okay, I can kind of see this, although the penalties seem Draconian and I'm willing to bet that they already have in-school codes of conducts that prohibit swearing in the classroom. But are they actually saying that this is going to apply to professors in a classroom full of people who are legally adults? To discussions of literature containing the word "fuck"? To research faculty in their labs? Seriously?

    Apparently the bill's sponsor, Lori Klein, showed off her gun by aiming it at a reporter [huffingtonpost.com] a while back. That tells you everything you need to know about the mentality of the people behind this. They're completely insane. Um, apeshit, if you will. And they're growing in power all over the country.

    • by WrongSizeGlass (838941) on Saturday February 18, 2012 @06:36AM (#39084529)
      Good luck teaching sex ed or even physiology. The good news is that using the FCC guidelines teachers will be able to cover anything that is extremely violent.

      I think this is still push back for declaring "Make Love, Not War".
    • by jpapon (1877296)

      To discussions of literature containing the word "fuck"?

      Indeed... it would seem that this law would make most courses in modern literature null and void. If the teacher can't say the words, then certainly it follows that the curriculum cannot contain books which contain the words. This would also seem to prohibit all anatomy, sexual/gender studies, much of biology, most of film studies, etc etc...

    • by nbauman (624611)

      To discussions of literature containing the word "fuck"?

      That's right. No more Alan Ginsberg, Ezra Pound, Chaucer.

    • by mooingyak (720677) on Saturday February 18, 2012 @12:21PM (#39086211)

      I'm kind of curious where the impetus for this is coming from. Is Arizona suffering from a rash of swearing teachers? Are children all across the state going home and saying "Hey Mommy, my English teacher said the guy she picked up in the bar last night fucked her good, and we were all like 'No Ms. Jones, he fucked you well!"

  • by SuricouRaven (1897204) on Saturday February 18, 2012 @06:27AM (#39084483)
    It's actually very difficult to fire a public school teacher in the US. Take, for example, the case of Freshwater. Not only did he repeatly ignore the curriculum, but he used his position as a teacher to preach his religious views to the class, and then *repeatly burned students*. Yes, he actually branded them. Used the science equipment to physically injure them. You might think that if a teacher does that he'd be fired on the spot, but it actually took months of paperwork and reviews to get him fired - and then he appealed it in a legal battle that cost the school millions of dollars.

    I picked him out because he should be well-known to the slashdot crowd, but this isn't a liberal-vs-conservative thing. There are plenty of teachers from both sides who like to use their position to advance their own agenda (It's why some of them become reachers) and a lot who are simply incompetant. They are just very difficult and very expensive to get rid of. Teachers have some very powerful unions, and have used that power to achieve incredible job security.

    So think.. what would schools really like to help manage their teachers? How about some rule that is hard to obey, ideally so convoluted that you'd need a lawyer just to work out what it permits, and for which offenders can be promply sacked? The FCC standards are ideal. Hard to even figure out, and it only takes a momentary lapse of thought to violate them. The law appears to have no right of appeal, no board review. It's just written for selective enforcement. If the management wants to continue employing a teacher, they can just turn a blind eye to the occasional bit of mild profanity... but if they want rid of a teacher, all they need to do is wait. When the rules are so difficult to follow, everyone will slip up sooner or later. Indecency becomes the perfect excuse.

    Exactly what that results in would just depend on the school. It might be used as a quick-and-sneaky way to fire inept teachers without having to go through years of reviews and appeals, which is good. But equally it might be used for ideological clensing, so management can more easily stock the school with a staff who will indoctrinate the students into their own political agenda.
    • Re:An excuse! (Score:4, Insightful)

      by Anonymous Coward on Saturday February 18, 2012 @06:57AM (#39084595)

      That is an idiotic example. Hurting students or otherwise inappropriately taking advantage of them leads to a fine or prison.
      This is a level where the school need not and _should_ not be involved, criminal prosecution is none of their business.
      And I really doubt it is hard to fire someone who is in prison and can't come to work.
      Also that the court process cost "millions of dollars" has nothing to do with teachers but only with a completely and thoroughly dysfunctional US court system, which basically tried to find anything that could be done wrong and then implemented it.

      • In Freshwater's case, none of the student's he burned or their families agreed to press charges. One of them did sue Freshwater for damages, but the case was settled out of court for undisclosed terms. He was suspended in 2008, but it took two years to actually get him fired - for all of which he was comfortably doing nothing at all and still getting full pay for it.

        That is how hard it is to get a teacher fired. Even if one goes so far as to burn students (admitidly volunteers) with a high voltage generato
        • by jpapon (1877296)
          I'm not defending the guy, but it seems quite telling that none of the students or families wanted to press charges. If some asshole burned my kid with a crucifix I sure as hell would press charges. Something else was going on there. I guarantee if my high school physics teacher had caused physical harm to anyone, she would have been in jail by sundown.
    • Except that Freshwater was immediately suspended without pay following the allegations, which is as good as firing, until the hearing was completed. The length it took had to do with the very difficult to prove allegations. The fact that most parents weren't willing to press charges is one of the reasons it was so difficult to fire him. Not only that but some of the more extreme examples from the case like the burning were almost impossible to prove as the student who claimed it was never allowed to be p
    • I had a super liberal social studies teacher who, through pushing her ultra liberal agenda, actually got through to groups of rowdy rowdy students and taught us why it's important to know geography, multiculturalism and respecting others.

      She was awesome.

  • ... then they might end up with a lot of empty classrooms. Great for saving school system costs.

    . . . the details strike me as silly . . ."

    "Oh, what sad times are these when ruffian teachers are allowed by FCC regulations to say 'Ni!' at will to school children!"

  • "Reasonable"? (Score:5, Insightful)

    by Anonymous Coward on Saturday February 18, 2012 @06:54AM (#39084583)

    How are these goals in any way reasonable?

  • Reasonable ? (Score:5, Insightful)

    by mbone (558574) on Saturday February 18, 2012 @07:06AM (#39084621)

    While the goal of the bill may seem reasonable,

    This is the Arizona Republican Party we are talking about here. Of course the goals of this Bill are not reasonable.

  • I'm glad this doesn't apply to college. The first day of the capstone class of my major, our assignment was "I want two pages on the following topic: Why the fuck are you guys here?"

    Of course, that was the sixth class I had with that particular professor, so things were a little more laid back.

  • "If a person who provides classroom instruction in a public school engages in speech or conduct that would violate the standards..." The way this is worded makes it sound as if public school teachers risk being fired for violating FCC standards at any time -- even outside of the classroom, away from school or at home. Like, they could fire you for cussing at the bar after work, or stepping out to grab your paper without making sure all your bits were properly covered.
  • I'm guessing Howard Stern won't be a substitute teacher any time soon.

  • Yet another chunk of government that needs 90% less power than it has.

  • "Decency" is a subjective thing. What's not decent in the US, may be perfectly decent, or even boring, in most EU countries. What's not decent in the US, like showing a nipple, is prime time TV in the Netherlands. I want my kids to have a free mind and a fair amount of knowledge about sex, so they don't get a girl pregnant and they don't catch diseases. Puritanism causes teen pregnancies, so let's not introduce this bs into the class room. It's bad enough as it is.

    • Graphic depictions of violence are considered acceptable in the US, but in most EU countries this is not acceptable. And in some countries such depictions are even regulated in the media.

      Have fun trying to establish a connection between two cultures on a topic where they differ significantly.

  • Nice (Score:5, Insightful)

    by SmallFurryCreature (593017) on Saturday February 18, 2012 @09:20AM (#39085139) Journal

    I can only guess that teachers in Arizona are not in the habit of ripping off nipple shields... so what is this really guarding against? Bad language? Most teachers have to look up the curse words of kids.

    No, this isn't about teachers mis-behaving. This is about art, sexual education and the "wrong" kind of books. There are plenty of parents who want to sanitize all education so that little Timmy doesn't learn anything that might upset his parents and this is the way to do it. Don't bother banning books, art or subjects, simply say that undecent things are not allowed and then watch teachers censor themselves to not loose their jobs.

    Real nice.

  • by rocket rancher (447670) <themovingfinger@gmail.com> on Saturday February 18, 2012 @10:11AM (#39085461)
    ...the mines and the teachers. This is a swift kick to the latter's. Unions are only as strong as their cash boxes are deep. Force the Arizona teacher's unions to start defending members in court against something as wide open to interpretation as FCC decency standards, and that will drain the cashbox very quickly. A brilliant tactic on the part of the union busters; Arizona has long been a "right-to-work" state (read: anti-union) and this will effectively take the teacher's union out of the game if it gets through the legislature.
  • One of the best teachers I ever had called a student a dumbass once, as a joke. I like to think that I came out alright, nobody took it seriously. The country didn't devolve into horrible uncivilized masses, the Earth didn't fall into the sun, the universe didn't implode. It's not like students don't here a lot worse things at lunch anyway. Who are we really protecting, and to what extent? To the extent that it requires legislation? I think not.
  • And I say that as a Republican. Just recently we had a group of them go after our University funding, claiming that if tuition is higher then the students will benefit because they'll value their educations more. The moron pushing this had a degree from the University of Pheonix.

    They all get elected on a mix of religious social issues and their oppositions refusal to admit that illegal immigration is a problem(even though Arizona is now the kidnapping capital of the country and there are entire sections of

  • Literature, even classic literature contains profanity, sex, and violence that would make the FCC rules nazis cringe. Does it really make sense to limit a child's education by omitting it? Figures though, schools in America are already among the worst in the world. Why not go just that little extra distance to seal that worst in the world title?
  • The probably don't have a lot of experience with this education thing. Change can be unsettling; they're probably uncertain what goes on in these new-fangled "classrooms". Under the circumstances it's quite understandable that they'd turn to the comfort of something more familiar to them, like broadcast television.

  • and make it impossible for teachers to their jobs, teach.
  • When you have no clue hook on to another with no clue.

    I think the cat will do it to the pooch when the courts
    force the FCC to scrap it's standards. The only thing
    funnier was a company that requires employees to abide
    by the Geneva Conventions... I asked for a copy... and
    did not get one.

  • And your kids are kicked out of school for swearing ?

    You have to be remarkably incompetent and oblivious to think that the teachers are making schools unbearable.

    It's your kids, people, not the teachers.

"The whole problem with the world is that fools and fanatics are always so certain of themselves, but wiser people so full of doubts." -- Bertrand Russell

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