Since bureaucrats added 75 pages of new regulations to West
Virginia's bill meant to curb cyber bullying, a family advocate
says students' free speech rights are at risk.
After House Bill 3225 was passed by the state legislature, the
Department of Education began adding dozens of regulations in a
code titled "Expected Behavior in Safe and Supportive Schools."
Jeremy Dys of The family Policy Council of West Virginia says
the code puts First Amendment rights at risk.
"If censoring offensive speech is the
essential means of controlling student harassment within our
schools, then we have watered down what harassment and bullying
actually is to the point where each is now made meaningless," he
Another problem is bureaucrats are taking away the duty of
parents to instill responsible behavior in their children.
"The more authority that the state of West Virginia through its
schools claims from the privileges of parents, the less that those
parents will aid the affirmation of whatever responsibility the
schools deem themselves responsible for, and the more parents will
demand educators do what they are ill-equipped to do," Dys
insists. "Teachers need to teach; parents need to parent."
Dys accounts that a number of legislators are
concerned, and he hopes something will be done about this problem
in the upcoming legislative session.
Analysts say better retention policies are needed to stop the
trend that's kicking nearly 50 percent of educators who begin
teaching careers out of the profession within five years.