March 29, 2005

Florida Takes "Stupid Education Law" Mantle Back From Georgia

The Independent Florida Alligator

Wow. And I thought Georgia was a bit goofy with the textbook stickers. Looks like Florida's showing everyone exactly how dumb they can be.

Republicans on the House Choice and Innovation Committee voted along party lines Tuesday to pass a bill that aims to stamp out “leftist totalitarianism” by “dictator professors” in the classrooms of Florida’s universities...
The bill sets a statewide standard that students cannot be punished for professing beliefs with which their professors disagree. Professors would also be advised to teach alternative “serious academic theories” that may disagree with their personal views.

According to a legislative staff analysis of the bill, the law would give students who think their beliefs are not being respected legal standing to sue professors and universities.

Students who believe their professor is singling them out for “public ridicule” – for instance, when professors use the Socratic method to force students to explain their theories in class – would also be given the right to sue.

... Rep. Dan Gelber, D-Miami Beach, warned of lawsuits from students enrolled in Holocaust history courses who believe the Holocaust never happened.

Similar suits could be filed by students who don’t believe astronauts landed on the moon, who believe teaching birth control is a sin or even by Shands medical students who refuse to perform blood transfusions and believe prayer is the only way to heal the body, Gelber added.

Can I just point out, students' beliefs are supposed to be challenged in college, and that teachers are supposed to know more than students? Also, what teacher would want to teach, when the slightest provocation would grant a student with the grounds for a lawsuit?

Hey... if I don't believe in this statute, can I sue the college system for forcing me to believe in this?

Posted by Ted Stevko at March 29, 2005 11:03 PM | TrackBack