Memphis lawmaker delivers fiery speech supporting teacher’s rights

MEMPHIS, Tenn. -- A Tennessee State Representative from Memphis made some strong comments about students in schools.

"When we take that teacher and put 25 to 30 un-raised, untaught, immoral, you can`t teach don`t give a flip! You can`t teach that," exclaimed State Representative John Deberry on the house floor in a committee meeting.

Deberry says he supports the "Teacher Bill of Rights."

The legislation would give teachers the right to defend themselves if a student assaults them. His comments come in the same week a teacher at Douglass High in North Memphis was attacked by a female student.

The teacher had to go to the hospital and the school said the student was disciplined.

"Everyone of us knows we have the most spiritually illiterate, historically illiterate, untrained, unraised, untaught, immoral generation in the history of this nation. Everybody in this room knows that!" said Deberry in Nashville several days ago.

His words were fiery, filled with passion, admitting they were not politically correct but on Friday Deberry wants his message to be clear.

"There are teachers who are under siege in the classroom. We know that in their best efforts there are those who don`t respect them so we can`t just stick our head in the sand and pretend that it`s not happening," he said.

House Bill 174, also known as the Teachers Bill of Rights gives teachers in the state somewhat of a leg to stand on. Deberry called it a bipartisan bill.

It allows educators to act upon their own conscience, so long as they do not disrupt the educational process, or act as a potential threat to student safety.

Deberry says we can no longer accept the status quo.

"It sends a message. It sends a message to the students, to the parents, to the system, to administrators to the board of education that teachers are valuable in the state of Tennessee," he said.

The bill needs to go before several committees before reaching the floor.