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Murphy Crushes Weis’s Teacher Code of Silence with DFP Arguments

Lobbyist extraordinaire Jeremiah M. Murphy stepped before House Education yesterday and made exactly the arguments that I made against Representative Kaleb Weis’s ill-advised Teacher Code of Silence: it would shut down intelligent teaching, and the vague concerns the extremist Aberdeen right-winger raises, if they have any basis in fact, are already addressed by the existing Code of Professional Ethics that teachers follow.

Murphy, representing the South Dakota Education Association that Weis seeks to vilify in his culture-war crosshairs, said it was his first appearance before House Education. Murphy testified that the bill as written had a glaring problem: he imagined a fourth-grader mouthing off about the Pledge of Allegiance and a good teacher taking advantage of the moment to explain the history and meaning of the Pledge of Allegiance. He imagined that teacher stating approval of the law Congress passed making the Pledge what it is. And he said that patriotic act in class would violate House Bill 1113. Any effort to encourage kids to follow the law or respect the Bill of Rights would become illegal.

Murphy said we all agree that teachers should teach important issues with balance and fairness and not abuse their authority. However, “this bill as drafted creates a trap,” Murphy explained.

Murphy then proceeded to distribute copies of the Professional Code of Ethics, “which governs all teachers in all South Dakota public institutions” and explain how any concerns about unfair teaching or abuses of power are already covered by that code, the training teachers get, and local school board control. Noting the sponsors desire to “update” the code of ethics, Murphy noted that the code is part of administrative rule, not statute, which is easier to update.

Murphy gave examples of behavior Weis thought he needed a law to prohibit and lines in the existing code that already prohibit such behavior. Murphy also contended the existing code subjects teachers to stricter punishment than the Weis Code. Finally, Murphy noted that the existing code covers far more misbehavior—e.g., religious proselytizing, personal profiteering—than Weis’s narrow ideological code would.

In other words, educators—the very people Weis doesn’t trust—have worked with the Department of Education since before Weis was born to compose a rigorous code of professional ethics that protects children far better than the slop Weis threw in the hopper.

Murphy gave a useful lesson in how teaching works and how law should be written. Alas, Weis missed it. Weis is such a feckless subwonder that he couldn’t even show up to House Education learn his lesson.

Murphy’s argument was so good and Weis’s bill was so bad that even teacher-hating culture warrior and House Education chair Lana Greenfield had to vote against it.

House Bill 1113 died 10-3 in committee.

Related Rookie Wreckage: Weis appears to have missed the hearing on his own Teacher Code of Silence because he was down the hall in House State Affairs shepherding his silly state seal bill over a cliff. After giving HB 1069 nearly 34 minutes of discussion (really? over half an hour, on whether half-inch wide versions of the state seal need to say, “Under God”? Kaleb, is your God really that small?) House State Affairs sent that dippy frippery on an 8–5 ride to the 41st day.


  1. grudznick 2019-02-12

    Like the hip young fellows do, Mr. Murphy, *high-fives*

  2. Porter Lansing 2019-02-12

    Well done, Mr. Murphy. This out of state intellectual is proud of you.

  3. grudznick 2019-02-12

    Indeed. We should all laud Mr. Murphy’s tremendous doings on this one, and while he no doubt will pocket a few dollars and deserves far, far more in monetary compensation than he is currently getting, let us all recognize he probably would appreciate hearty handshakes and free meals for the next couple of weeks.

  4. Debbo 2019-02-12

    Grudz/Murphy, dont break your arm patting your own back. I doubt you were quite that good.

  5. Debbo 2019-02-12

    “Weis is such a feckless subwonder that he couldn’t even show up to House Education learn his lesson.”

    Very good, Cory. “Feckless subwonder.” 😆😆😆

  6. leslie 2019-02-13

    “Pay Slaw”eh grdz? And “cole slaw”?


    So you are the Indian rodeo photographer, right? High five. (get it?) Do I have the right thread or am I just deluded? Maybe it is in the Medal of Honor thread below. Trump thinks it is funny to slander Indians. So do you.

    Would you prefer “racist”? Or Catholics call it “blasphemous”. “Slander” is the gentler word don’t you think?

    Since 2013, “frequently”, right here on this blog or perhaps right wing blogs where people know you. Google is a funny thing when it comes to denials.

    PE’ SLA. Sacred.

  7. Porter Lansing 2019-02-13

    Jeremiah Murphy? Why the juvenile behavior, though? Is there a self esteem issue that won’t allow you to stand as a man and accept your criticism and/or praise? Was your hero father to much to compete with? Or does portraying yourself as grudznick, the low class, foul mouthed, woman abuser release something in you that your Catholic School, MAGA hat wearing upbringing suppressed? Hmmm?

  8. Cory Allen Heidelberger Post author | 2019-02-13

    Murphy’s comments on behalf of SDEA were worth every penny they paid him.

  9. Porter Lansing 2019-02-13

    Just for inside baseball, were you there, Cory or is there a video/tv broadcast?

  10. Jenny 2019-02-13

    Yes there is an audio of it. Everyone should listen to it, did you see where racist far right Phil Jensen mentioned you, Cory? Phil didn’t like Cory taking his class to Pierre a few years ago for some protesting, I believe it was? If someone can get the audio link here that would be great. Phil Jensen is horrifying.

  11. Porter Lansing 2019-02-13

    Please, disregard my question, Cory. I see from your post about the transphobic Greenfields that the session is on SDPBS.

  12. Porter Lansing 2019-02-13

    Thank-you, kindly Ms. Jenny.

  13. Jenny 2019-02-13

    You know this was a horrible bill when the far right people vote to defer it to the 41st day. Isaac Latterell, Fred Deutch and Lana Greenfield all voted to defer.

  14. Cathy B 2019-02-13

    Jeremiah Murphy’s testimony starts at minute 0:49:50

  15. Cory Allen Heidelberger Post author | 2019-02-16

    Porter, all I did was listen to the audio to which Cathy B links.

  16. grudznick 2019-02-23

    Ms. Cathy is kind to link us to the audio. It was a heck of a job, worth every penny indeed.

  17. Porter Lansing 2019-02-23

    Murphy would be highly effective (instead of just a toadstool among turds) if he was of the liberal mindset. He might have to “fake it” but what does he do all day, anyway?

  18. Porter Lansing 2019-02-23

    BTW, grudznick. The reason the elder Nosetrap continues to win re-election in Aberdeen has nothing to do with this blog, we out of staters or epithets. It’s simply because the hardest thing in SD, besides Stace Nelson’s head, is change. It’s nearly impossible. But, once Cory takes the seat, this aversion to change will work in his great favor. He’ll have the job until he wants to be U.S. Senator.

  19. Debbo 2019-02-23

    Porter, it sounds like Grudz/Murphy is trying to make a nonsensical trumpian argument. I knew there was a good reason I ignore Jeremiah’s comments. I’ll just enjoy your slicing and dicing of the Grudz/Murphy turnip. 🧢🕵️‍♀️ (hat tip)🤠🎩

  20. grudznick 2019-02-23

    Mr. Murphy’s testimony was done very well indeed. I laughed and I laughed as I listened to it one more time. He is a Lobbyist Extraordinaire, with extra cheese and a side of sausage gravy.

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