Know the law

DERON TALLEY, Guest Columnist @DeRonTalley

Some call it hacking, others call it snooping, but the law says it’s wrong when it comes to sneaking into an employee’s social media account. Yep, the friendly workplace joke can get you sent home, as part of a new law that took effect on Aug. 1 That one and about 550 others.

If you take a cheap shot at biddy ball referee, you’ll face jail time. For those teenage girls who like to bake up in the tanning salon, they’ll have to take their talents to South Beach, or out on the bayou. Some laws are minor, while others are pretty serious and could have a major affect on a lot of us.

Lawmakers gave new protection to personal email, social media and other online accounts, refusing to let employers and public schools, including colleges, demand access to the sites. Firing or disciplining someone who refuses to provide the information is banned.

In health care, lawmakers are allowing terminally ill patients in the state to use experimental drugs or treatments not approved by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration, as long as the patients’ doctors approve, in a law called, “The Right To Try Act.”

One of my favorites passed, though, is in education where schools have to provide new paths for special education students to receive a high school diploma. If you’ve followed my writing, you know I’m passionate about educating and exposing our children to bigger and better things. This law here ensures that the growing population of special needs children are still able to learn productively in the school house, rather than being baby sat for eight hours a day.

It’s no secret the special education classrooms are growing, and many of us know a lot of those students aren’t given an opportunity at a high school diploma. Some are capable, some are not, but with this law the schools have to create ways to give them a fair shot at it.

I remember when I was in school some of our best athletes were in special education, and while in those classes they were the one’s who were cutting the grass around campus, trimming the bushes, and picking up the trash. As so to say, all they’ll be able to learn is yard work. My thought was always, how can they learn the playbook on the football field, or basketball court but not able to do some worksheets to get an education. It was apparent the teachers never gave them a chance to learn real materials, instead make sure they know how to do manual labor. There is nothing wrong with that, but now with this law, those same students are able to get a diploma and maybe pursue a collegiate career in sports.

There were 551 laws that took effect Aug. 1, we all should take time and see what our lawmakers passed. Some are good, some bad, some minor, and some major. But we definitely need to know them or we may find ourselves doing something we aren’t supposed to be doing.