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September 18, 2018

A Pennsylvania lawmaker reportedly wants to stop teachers from discussing politics in class

Will Tallman's 'Teacher Code of Ethics' would forbid teachers from discussing present-day politics

Schools Free Speech
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Pennsylvania state Rep. Will Tallman sent a memo to his colleagues in the House last week with an idea for a bill that would ban discussions of present-day politics in classrooms.

The bill, according to the Morning Call, has been dubbed by Tallman the “Teacher Code of Ethics.” It would forbid teachers from endorsing or otherwise commenting on political candidates or sitting politicians in local, state and federal offices during class time. 

The bill would also reportedly ban teachers from discussing pending legislation, regulations, executive orders or court cases in any part of government.

“Our K-12 school teachers should not be using their classroom time spent on political or ideological indoctrination,” Tallman said in the memo, according to the Morning Call.

In the 2007 case of Mayer v. Monroe County Community School, the United States Court of Appeals for the Seventh Circuit held that “the first amendment does not entitle primary and secondary teachers, when conducting the education of captive audiences, to cover topics, or advocate viewpoints, that depart from the curriculum adopted by the school system.”

Tallman has represented the 193rd Legislative District, which includes parts of Adams County and Cumberland County in south-central Pennsylvania, since 2008. He is not running for re-election in the November midterms.

Before his election, Tallman served two terms on the Wellsboro Area School District Board of Education, serving two year as president. He also served on the Pennsylvania School Board Association’s legislative council.

The midterm elections will be held on Nov. 6, 2018.


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