Bill to restrict opinions of public school teachers fails

PIERRE, S.D. (KOTA TV) - South Dakota teachers won’t be muzzled when it comes to their opinions on a variety of issues.

The state House Education Committee shelved House Bill 1113; a bill that would have established “certain provisions regarding ethics and responsibility for public elementary and secondary school teachers.”

Basically, teachers would not be able to discuss political, legislative, judicial or state issues in their capacity while in the classroom or “while otherwise operating within the scope of employment as a teacher …”

This bill came up in a local cracker-barrel session in Piedmont (see Ethics of politics in public schools). Some people were concerned the bill, if passed, would stop teachers from participating in any political debate, including cracker-barrels.

The committee voted 10-3 to send it to the 41st legislative day; a day that doesn’t exist.