Arizona vs English Teachers


James Force, Sports Editor

A new bill passed in Arizona will require English teachers in every public school to send home permission slips for almost any book that they want to teach. “I’ve been teaching classics such as Night, To Kill a Mockingbird, and Of Mice and Men for the last twenty years, and suddenly the morality police want me to ask permission to teach these books.  As if there isn’t already a teacher shortage and sub shortage, which forces us to give up our planning period often, now if a parent does not want their child to read about the Holocaust, I will need to make an alternative lesson plan?  This will double teachers’ work and where exactly will those students go as I discuss the book for an entire quarter?  It’s just one more thing on top of another,” said English teacher Ms. Lange.

The bill is bad for a lot of reasons, but one of the main ones is how strapped it leaves teachers. English teacher Reece LeResche said, “This is something we’ve been moving towards… This bill hampers and handicaps English departments.” Also saying, “Effectively every book can be put on that list,” and, “Now I have to find a new unit… where are the students going to go if we can’t have them in class? Are they going to sit under the Ramada and I have to check on them constantly?”

English teachers across the country are outraged about this bill and for good reason. Mr. LeResche called the bill “Blatant censorship,” while also saying that teachers know what books can be taught and which ones can’t. “Some books should never ever be taught at the high school level.” This bill is also an insult to teachers in the sense that it basically is telling them they’re not trusted to do their job correctly. “There is a huge distrust around teachers… one of the worst things about being a teacher is the criticism and judgment,” stated Mr. LeResche. He also pointed out that, “A lot of parents get misinformation.” It’s not just the bill itself that’s the problem, it’s also the indirect effect it will have on the students. “The way we set it up, we have a lot of lax measures on work and students… we are reaching the point where students aren’t caring about teachers’ discipline,” said LeResche. If students aren’t going to listen to the teachers and even attempt to get this permission slip signed, they get to skip class and lose out on valuable information. If anything, we should be helping teachers, not making their jobs harder and giving them more unpaid work, from my point of view and a lot of others, it seems like Arizona is against English teachers.

If a parent was antisemitic or homophobic or even racist, they could prevent their child from learning very important information.