It has been almost 10 years since a student in Kearny recorded a teacher that would proselytize biblical fundamentalism to his history class. I remember this case so well, not because it is in my hometown, but because of the solution that was put in place to deal with it. Did they fire the teacher? No. Instead, the answer that came out of the Kearny Board of Education was to Ban the Taping of Teachers.
I never thought something so painfully ignorant could be done on a much larger scale. Well, as has become the standard when business and politics cross… I have been proven wrong and shown that an idea, no matter how glaringly obvious is the wrong thing to do… is precisely what is done.
North Carolina has decided to bow to pressure from Factory Farms and other businesses that have been exposed for wrongdoing (nursing homes, daycares, etc) , and rather than forcing them to fix the terrible offenses that take place, instead they pass a law that allows the business to sue the whistleblower for up to $5,000 per day of recording and/or information gathering that causes the business “bad publicity.”
It is not the first “Ag-Gag” law that has been introduced (Ag-Gag because they were first and most often to protect Factory Farming), they have been enacted in 8 States. But fortunately, precedent is on the side of the people (so far), as a similar law in Idaho was struck down on 1st Amendment grounds. But, why should it have to be struck down? How do lawmakers that introduce such things continue to get elected when it is so obvious that they simply do not have the best interest of their constituents in mind? And how do people vote against their own best interests and continue to put these people in a position to pass this sort of mind-numbingly stupid measure?
If your loved one was in a nursing home, wouldn’t you want someone to blow the whistle if they were not being taken care of properly? If that daycare you are sending your child to is doing bad things behind closed doors, don’t they deserve whatever bad publicity they may receive? And if practices at Factory Farms and Slaughterhouses are so bad that they push for legislation like this, then aren’t they exactly the type of businesses that deserve such scrutiny?
I have heard a lot about “making America great again.” Well, ensuring corporations are following the law, instead of punishing the whistle blower that brings it to light, should be the de facto standard.