We think we understand the point that state Rep. John Filmore is making with his call to repeal a state law that allows schools to provide information on dating abuse.
During a recent tour of Cochise County, Filmore was proud to introduce himself as the vice chairman of the House Education Committee, the No. 2 Republican on the most influential legislative policy-making group for schools in the state. He boasted that despite having “only” a high school education, he’s managed to achieve financial success and now owns a get-away cabin in the Northwest.
During that visit, Filmore ruffled the feathers of local education officials, promoting the idea of district consolidation as an effective way for the state to make its shared revenues more effective in the classroom by cutting administrative costs.
Last week, he captured state headlines when he filed a bill banning all instruction or advice related to dating and dating abuse. Currently, school districts have the option of offering students information on what to watch out for when they date, what to do and who to contact if they are victims of dating abuse.
Instead of teaching kids about dating, Rep. Filmore wants to tighten up the requirement that students recite the Pledge of Allegiance every day, that they receive instruction in how to manage their finances, and he wants teachers to have more authority to discipline kids and keep them out of classrooms if necessary. If only education was that simple.
Rep. Filmore relates to his own success and believes it’s a pattern that should fit an entire system. After all, in his day schools taught more “read’n, writ’n, and ‘rithmatic,” and he turned out just fine. They kept discussions about sex, about abuse, about domestic violence to a minimum, and focused on the important stuff, like the Pledge of Allegiance.
Education and today’s students are much more complex than they were 40 or more years ago when Rep. Filmore was sitting in a high school classroom. The internet, social media, and peer networking exposes kids to adult issues at a young age and in too many cases, schools are literally forced to fill the parenting role.
Rep. Filmore needs to appreciate that times have changed and it’s not possible to turn back the clock to avoid the harsh realities of what we need to teach kids to help them survive in today’s world.
— Sierra Vista Herald