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Fighting For Justice

Could your civil rights be at risk as a teacher in Texas?

On Behalf of | Feb 15, 2023 | Civil Rights

Working as a teacher often means accepting inadequate compensation and very demanding work conditions. Teachers have four-year degrees, if not master’s or doctoral degrees in many cases. Given the long hours involved in providing instruction, planning for class and grading the work turned in by students, teachers may find that their hourly wages are actually quite low when they look at how much work they do versus how much pay they receive.

Now, in addition to feeling the financial crunch of student loans, inadequate pay and rising living expenses, teachers may have to worry about changing laws that will affect what happens in the classroom, especially if they teach government, civics, literature or history.

Lawmakers have taken aim at certain subjects

The education of students in American public schools in recent years has become a highly-politicized issue. This has led politicians to attempt to make changes without much consideration for the practical implications of their actions.

Most recently, lawmakers have created a law that limits academic credit for political activities, like lobbying or campaigning. It also imposes rules on how teachers approach certain topics, including civics and history. The rules address critical race theory and the need for “objectivity” on all topics. If teachers do discuss certain hot-button issues, they must present multiple perspectives.

Not only could teachers find their speech curtailed in the classroom because of such rules, but they could also find themselves facing discrimination and other violations of their basic civil rights as a result of these suggested changes. Such bills also do a disservice to the children involved. Especially in high school, learning about the political process and deepening one’s sense of history can be crucial for a student’s education.

Teachers facing mistreatment can fight back

Teachers often feel like they have few options for defending themselves in a hostile work environment, but the law is often on the side of those mistreated by their employers. Teachers who believe they have endured a significant violation of their civil rights may be able to fight back against punitive actions taken by their employers or changing school policies.

Learning more about employment and civil rights issues as they apply to Texas teachers could help you evaluate whether your situation demands a legal response.