August 22, 2006

School Assignment-Teaches Freedom or the Left is Nuts?

Imagine that you're back in school. A teacher wants you to write a paper on freedom of speech. That sounds patriotic. As inspiration, images of Patrick Henry come into your head. Well what was the inspiration that a middle school teacher gave his classes?

A Stuart Middle School teacher has been removed from the classroom after he burned two American flags in class during a lesson on freedom of speech.... Dan Holden, who teaches seventh-grade social studies, burned small flags in two different classes Friday and asked students to write an opinion paper about it.

How did the students react?

A sixth-grader said students were abuzz about the incident yesterday. "They just can't believe that a teacher would do that -- burn two American flags in front of the class. A teacher shouldn't do that, even though it was an example."

How did their parents react?

(A student told her father), 'Our teacher burned a flag.' I'm like, 'What?' " (her father) said. "When I was (at the school) at 8 a.m., the lobby was filled with probably 25 or 30 parents" who were upset, he said.

How did the ACLU react?

"...if a school is masking their objections to flag burning under the guise of safety, it raises questions about freedom of speech and academic freedom."

How did the teacher's union react?

"It was not a political statement and was meant to illustrate a controversial issue. To fire someone because of that would be inappropriate. It wasn't like he was taking one side or another."

How did the PTA President react?

...parents who called for Holden to be fired were "going a little bit overboard."

How does one school board member react?

...the flag burning was unnecessary and could have offended some students, including those in military families. "A teacher doesn't do that. It's just disrespectful." (Do you think? At least someone has some sense.)

How do you react?

Do we abandon hope for public schools?

Posted by Woody M. at August 22, 2006 06:10 PM | TrackBack

Most of the comments are predictable, unfortunately. However, I'm also quite unimpressed by the unnamed school board member, who objected because it was "unnecessary" and "could have offended".

I'm sorry, I don't like hearing this mealy-mouth PC language from the left, and I don't like it any better when PC language is used to attack the left. It's not a matter of being "unnecessary" or causing offense, the central issue is whether this action was right or not. Nobody except the students seemed to want to address the matter of right and wrong.

Once again, the kids are wiser than the adults...

Posted by civil truth at August 22, 2006 10:44 PM

With incendents like this staining the profession it is hard think America will be here in another decade.

Posted by Michael at August 23, 2006 07:10 AM

Civil Truth, in defense of those on the right who used PC language, they have to for legal reasons. The school wouldn't or couldn't fire the teacher (or, so they think) for burning a flag but did so for starting a fire, which is a safety issue. The school board member's comments cannot be separated between his personal views and those as a spokesman for the school board. So, people, like them and like me, may know the truth and know what we would like to say, but our words have to be tempered for legal considerations.

In this case and as far as freedom of speech or academic freedom is concerned--bull! People have no right to say anything they want when they are working for their employer. If that were not so, then there wouldn't be an industry offering sensitivity training for employees.

And to counter the ACLU position, do you think that the ACLU would talk about academic freedom and freedom of speech if the teacher called some Arab kid a towel-head? Academic freedom is just a trite phrase to try to make conservatives go away.

Posted by Woody at August 23, 2006 07:28 AM

This is just not the kind of thing you do in front of middle school kids. High school kids? Probably not either. College kids? Maybe. I dunno... it's difficult not to see this as a publicity stunt in any setting. And publicity stunts are NOT what education should be about.

Posted by e. nonee moose at August 23, 2006 03:00 PM

Hiya GM!
sent a link and a trackback to a post I did on public skool educ as well!..good read! :)

Posted by Angel at August 23, 2006 03:23 PM

Shoot - the government-run schools began their downhill slide virtually from the moment of their creation around 1850.

When the postmodernist crowd ("postmodernism" is the umbrella term for all the Lefties, Liberals, Socialists, Marxists, Kantians, Communists, etc. etc. ad nauseam, as contrasted with "modernism," the thinking of the Enlightenment that our country was founded on) saw that the mind of nearly every child in the young United States had become captive to a "one-size-fits-all" curriculum and compulsory attendance, they got warm and fuzzy all over.

It took them about 100 years, but their steady, consistent efforts to infiltrate the school system and entrench themselves (the NEA was one of the biggest boosters of the effort), the country was all but doomed to experience the problems we face today. Those of you who remember the sixties remember seeing the signs that the postmodernists had finally triumphed; those of you who are too young to remember those times, forget the nostaligia - it was awful, and it's been getting worse ever since.

PC is the most important tool of the postmodernists, and the schools are their workshops. That's where our kids are taught before their little brains have time to re-organize themselves into the adult form that can defend themselves against all the drivel.

There are relatively few answers still available; even many private schools, hoping for accreditation, generally hire teachers who have been through the PC training courses at the teachers' colleges, and (thanks in large part to the influence of the NEA) are certified by the various state governments.

It's a long story, but you all get the picture. The few answers include 1) homeschooling (under fire by the UN and in Belgium, please note, where a homeschooler/blogger is currently facing criminal charges for homeschooling), and a very few private schools.

So, if you ever wonder why we are so evenly split on the whole issue of the threat we are under today, thank the government school system. It was just too tasty a morsel for the postmodernists to resist.

Posted by cubed at August 23, 2006 05:37 PM

All other arguements aside, this guy's too stupid to be a teacher.

* Administrative clarification: DADavocate's comment referenced the teacher in the post rather than any commenter above his comment.

Posted by DADvocate at August 23, 2006 07:31 PM

e nonee has this right. It was a showy stunt, more likely to distract from learning than enhance it. How hard is it to say "What if someone came in and burned a flag here right now? What would you think about that? Write an essay."

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