New Texas Law Makes it Easier to Punish Students Who Harass Teachers
We have seen an increase in teacher harassment the past couple of years and here in Texas, this new law could help decrease those statistics.
We have seen the videos that go around of students threatening their teachers or even physically abusing their teachers as well. Starting in September, a new law goes into effect here in Texas that will hopefully help deter students from harassment. Students who harass teachers will be referred to disciplinary alternative education programs, outside of their regular classrooms.
The law narrowly passed the Republican-dominated state Legislature in May after a lobbying group for Texas teachers argued it was key to ensuring educators are safe and protected in their classrooms. Opponents to this new law say the wording of the harassment is too vague. Something as simple as speaking out in class or a teacher being annoyed by a student's actions could fall into this harassment category if the teacher deemed it necessary.
A survey from seven years ago said that 10% of Texas teachers said their lives were threatened at one point during the school year. If a student falls under this new harassment law, a conference about that student’s behavior among parents, teachers, and administrators will take place.
Here are some of the things mentioned in this new law. Threatening to inflict physical harm; lying about another person dying or being seriously injured; making repeated phone calls in a way that’s likely to annoy, alarm, abuse or embarrass another person; and making an “obscene” comment. As with most student discipline issues, school administrators and teachers get leeway to determine exactly what student behavior qualifies.
We will see how this new law goes in the upcoming school year and what changes will be coming to students here in Texas.