An Arizona lawmaker wants to clamp down on teachers voicing political opinions in the classroom with a law that would punish instructors for taking sides on controversial issues.
Republican Senate Majority Leader Thayer Verschoor said he proposed the bill to protect students.
"This is absolutely about academic freedom," Verschoor told the Arizona Republic. "It allows students to practice their First Amendment right without fear of a poor grade because of it or any retaliation because they disagree with the instructor."
But some teachers say if the bill becomes law, they might reconsider teaching about controversial issues.
"In theory, it wouldn't affect me at all," said Joe Thomas, a high school government teacher. "But . . . what could a student take from my room and take what I say out of context? He-said/she-said becomes a teacher on a soapbox."