Stuart Middle School teacher burns U.S. flags in class

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posted on Aug, 22 2006 @ 02:08 PM
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Originally posted by WestPoint23
Well, in the US that’s not how our educational system is, there is a curriculum and an appropriate way of teaching, one that is educational, while at the same time thought provoking, respectful, and peaceful.


I may have missed how this instance fails to meet your standards, aside from it going against your personal beliefs.


My educational experience was all those things, yet my teachers didn’t need to burn a flag in order to achieve those points.


Most teachers don't need to do much more than give the students a text book and assign tests.


You do not need to shoot a live animal in class in order to demonstrate a particular point about anatomy.


You don't need to disect a frog either, yet I remember doing that.



You do need to engage a young person's mind that will have a lasting effect.




posted on Aug, 22 2006 @ 02:19 PM
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Give me a break. Get in the real world some of you! Just because some of you
think this "radical" lesson is great because it stimulates little Johnny's mind and
makes lttle Sally more "aware" doesn't mean this is okay for everyone, get it?
The flag represents different things to different people. Probably because some
people have done things in their lives that they will never forget, or shared
something so intense with others that it's impossible to ever forget.
Burning the flag in protest is one thing, burning the flag just because you can
shows that this teacher lacks a very important asset, common sense.
Sensationlism at best! I wouldn't give a rat's ass for the teacher in question!



posted on Aug, 22 2006 @ 02:24 PM
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Westpoint23, you just don't get it. You get all worked up about the fact that a flag was burned. Why? It's a meaningless piece of polyester (or what ever it was made out of). What is important about the flag, the symbol of our country, is the democratic system for which it stands. It is the constructs of the system that the people have chosen to uphold that are important, not the piece of material that was set aflame. Part of that system is the right to practice freedom of speech, a right that is not been exercised by many publicly in years, and one that the government is doing its best to repress. Discourse is the most important right that we have as a nation, yet we have been programmed to be mindless little drones that refuse to broach important topics because of the "political correctness factor". Seldom do people discuss the issues that should be which make our system strong.

Frankly, I applaud this teacher as he is teaching his students something about our rights. He is also teaching his students that they should feel free to talk about this issue, and others that matter to them, no matter how politically incorrect it may be. He is getting these students to think for themselves and say exactly what they feel about this issue, not what some book wants them to think. So to him I say, hooray! We need more patriots like that who are willing to challenge people to discuss matters of importance. At present, this country is slipping further and further into the malaise that prevents proper discourse.



posted on Aug, 22 2006 @ 02:24 PM
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@ Seige,
Sounds to me like you care very little about stimulating the minds of our young people. I'm sure you'd be content to let them rot away at a McDonalds cash register.


Sure, lets never make little "Johnny" question anything. And "Sally" can just stay at home and make little "Johnny" dinner, because she doesn't need any mental stimulation.

[edit on 22-8-2006 by Rasobasi420]



posted on Aug, 22 2006 @ 02:24 PM
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Originally posed by Benevolent Heretci
Westie, 'inappropriate' is a judgement call. Your avatar is inappropriate by some people's standards.


Of course it’s a judgment call, however its one that we as a society make, that’s why we have laws, rules and regulations and certain social standards, they represent what we think is appropriate and right. And a significant percentage of people think burning the flag is offensive and inappropriate for various reasons. My avatar is in a public forum, people don’t have to sign on to it, they can ignore me, they don’t have to look at it, whatever, this however is a school. The teacher was in an authority position and he abused that power with a bad decision and act.


Originally posed by Benevolent Heretci
But you have yet to say SPECIFICALLY why burning the flag was inappropriate. You just say it was. Tell me why.


I will, but I don’t see what purpose that achieves, everyone knows its offensive to some people but whatever…

Burning a flag other than for necessary reasons (like disposing of it) is inappropriate because the flag to some is more then just a piece of cloth; it’s a symbol that represents this country and everything about us. When you burn it it’s like spitting on the US as a whole and showing that you don’t care about this country. It is also seen as a tremendously disrespectful to the soldiers/people who died defending this country and hence that flag. Point being, to some it has real value, significance and meaning.

Satisfied BH?



Originally posed by Benevolent Heretci
And I can't think of another action to get these students discussing passionately the subjects of freedom of speech, the Constitution and patriotism. I think the teacher did a great service to the whole school. See how we're discussing it here? Sure, he could have read the First Amendment to them... Bored now! But he probably thought... "How can I get these kids really interested in discussing Freedom of Speech? How can I really teach them what it means"?


I can, I don’t think the constitution is boring, but like I said, you and I seemed to have thought a lot about the subject and our teachers (don’t know about you but I’m assuming…) never had to burn a flag. You don’t have to go overboard and do something like this in order to stimulate thinking.


Originally posed by Benevolent Heretci
Westie, I think it's too bad you didn't have this teacher...


Yeah it is too bad, I’d sure like to give him a piece of my mind.



posted on Aug, 22 2006 @ 02:33 PM
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Originally posted by WestPoint23
Burning a flag other than for necessary reasons (like disposing of it) is inappropriate because the flag to some is more then just a piece of cloth; it’s a symbol that represents this country and everything about us.


If that flag represents everything about us, then shouldn't it also represent the aspect of us that believe's we should be able to burn it? It's a good percentage of "us"

When you burn it it’s like spitting on the US as a whole and showing that you don’t care about this country.


Not true.


It is also seen as a tremendously disrespectful to the soldiers/people who died defending this country and hence that flag.


Correct me if I'm wrong, but those people were dying for the people in this country, and not some piece of cloth.


Point being, to some it has real value, significance and meaning.



And when it was burned I bet those some in that class explained that, and if they explained it well, then they deserve an A. Too bad they'll never know.

[edit on 22-8-2006 by Rasobasi420]



posted on Aug, 22 2006 @ 02:37 PM
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Originally posted by Rasobasi420
I may have missed how this instance fails to meet your standards, aside from it going against your personal beliefs.


It is disrespectful in the eyes of many and it’s not peaceful and IMO no more educational then actually reading the constitution and to understanding for yourself what it all means.


Originally posted by Rasobasi420
You don't need to disect a frog either, yet I remember doing that.


Perhaps, which is why I distinctly remember that we were given an option, either dissect the frog and take an exam on it, or study from the book and still take the same test on it.


Originally posted by Rasobasi420
You do need to engage a young person's mind that will have a lasting effect.


You need to teach the subject and not go overboard, I’m sure again, shooting a live animal in anatomy class can engage someone’s mind and have a lasting effect on them but is it the right thing to do? No.


BTW Rasobasi on the flag burning issue, in general, those are your views on it, fine, I just want to discuss why this teacher shouldn’t have burned the flag in the classroom.

[edit on 22-8-2006 by WestPoint23]



posted on Aug, 22 2006 @ 02:50 PM
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RaSOBasi420 : I care more than you could possibly believe about stimulating the
minds of our youth. But life's also about respect. Respect is something that is
"earned". I believe certain generations have "earned" their right to be respected.
I'm not sure yet on this generation. How do they get stimulated taking cellphones
to school? Diss-ing this and diss-ing that? Who's responsible for trying to show
this new generation what respect is all about? Parents? Teachers? . . .Wait a
minute, maybe they're teaching "DISRESPECT"? What the hell is this deal about
teaching disrespect? Diss-ing!!!
Some generations get things handed to them on a silver platter. The old saying,
"may you live in interesting times" isn't the same thing as "easy" times ,is it?



posted on Aug, 22 2006 @ 02:57 PM
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I guess that's where things start to get blurry. I see no disrespect here. The people tat you are talking about ( I assume you mean vets) didn't fight and die for a flag. They fought and died for freedom, peace, and the rights of the individual. To say that they died for a piece of cloth diminishes their sacrefice. If the only reason that one can come up with against this teacher being able to do this in school is because it disrespects something that soldiers died for, then I think you've missed the point of these battles and wars in general.

Moreover, if a man died for a flag, then the flag is burned, does that mean that the man died for nothing? Or is there something more to it than that.



posted on Aug, 22 2006 @ 03:01 PM
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Originally posted by WestPoint23
Burning a flag other than for necessary reasons (like disposing of it) is inappropriate because the flag to some is more then just a piece of cloth; it’s a symbol that represents this country and everything about us. When you burn it it’s like spitting on the US as a whole and showing that you don’t care about this country.


So, majority rules when dealing with Freedom of Speech? That's news to me. Freedom, REAL freedom means freedom to do something even though others disapprove of it. You may not like what this teacher did, and that's fine, but using the fact that someone might be offended is just not a good enough reason to stifle this act. It's not against the law and whether or not you like it, he is free to do so. You act all patriotic and supportive of the Constitution when it's rights you agree with (like firearm rights, which offend many people) but when it's something you are offended by, the rules change.

Very weak, man... Sorry.



It is also seen as a tremendously disrespectful to the soldiers/people who died defending this country and hence that flag.


And the ones who died defending our right to freedom of speech...



Satisfied BH?



Not even close!



posted on Aug, 22 2006 @ 03:03 PM
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Originally posted by The Iconoclast
Westpoint23, you just don't get it. You get all worked up about the fact that a flag was burned. Why? It's a meaningless piece of polyester (or what ever it was made out of). What is important about the flag, the symbol of our country, is the democratic system for which it stands. It is the constructs of the system that the people have chosen to uphold that are important, not the piece of material that was set aflame. Part of that system is the right to practice freedom of speech, a right that is not been exercised by many publicly in years, and one that the government is doing its best to repress.

Exactly, hes just proven there is no such thing as free speech, the authorities couldn't have done any better to prove that.

Suspending someone for burning a bit of cloth is pathetic.



posted on Aug, 22 2006 @ 03:19 PM
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Blurry ? Blurry? You're right, you can't see!

How technical we get when we twist words.

No one is saying that the flag is just a piece of cloth but you. Now let's get real
again Ra SOB asi420, okay? The flag, to some people, represents exactly what you
yourself said should matter, "freedom", "peace", "and the rights of the individual".
Now let's talk about tangible versus intangible. You know, representation?!
The tangible flag represents the intangible beliefs. Now we have mobility!
Let's take that mobil intangible-now-made-tangible flag to war with us. Oh, wait
a minute, something's happening here! People are dying! For you and me, for the
future! But what are they dying for really? Come on, really?



posted on Aug, 22 2006 @ 03:25 PM
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Let us look at this objectively, rather than from the perspective of personal bias.

1) Was what this teacher did congruent with the curriculum approved for the class? Was it in line with school or district policies?

If not, then the propriety of what the teacher did is a moot point, and removal or suspension was probably appropriate. If it was approved and agreed upon, however, or in line with school or and/or district policies, then removal or suspension and the propriety thereof would depend more upon the context of this lesson.

2) Did the teacher emphasize, encourage, or promote any specific ideology or political viewpoint that could be seen as unobjective? Was the main point free speech itself, or this particular form of expression? Do we know?

Those are the two important questions in my mind, if I ignore all personal bias.



posted on Aug, 22 2006 @ 03:33 PM
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Originally posted by SIEGE
Now let's get real again Ra SOB asi420, okay?


Ouch!!


If I held a pen in my hand and said, "this represents happiness and joy in the world", then snapped it in half, would all the happiness and joy be gone?

I think a major propblem is when people can't destinguish as symbol from an intangible idea. To give a physical representation to something conceptual doesn't do squat to the concept.

Oddly enough, by making the destruction of a symbol illegal, you are doing more damage to the idea than burning the symbol ever could.



posted on Aug, 22 2006 @ 03:34 PM
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Originally posted by SIEGE
No one is saying that the flag is just a piece of cloth but you. Now let's get real
again Ra SOB asi420, okay? The flag, to some people, represents exactly what you
yourself said should matter, "freedom", "peace", "and the rights of the individual".
Now let's talk about tangible versus intangible. You know, representation?!
The tangible flag represents the intangible beliefs. Now we have mobility!
Let's take that mobil intangible-now-made-tangible flag to war with us. Oh, wait
a minute, something's happening here! People are dying! For you and me, for the
future! But what are they dying for really? Come on, really?


How shameful that in this thread you have made a point now to take the username of a fellow ATS member and separate it so that you can form an acronym for a swear. Then you just mock everything. You have done nothing in that posting to deny any form of ignorance, in my opinion, you've done more to promote it.


The flag itself is worthless in the sense that it is a piece of cloth. It is. It is cloth. However the symbolism that is the flag is only there invested by the power of the people who acknowledge it. It is a symbol of our country, and of our blood, sweat, and tears that some of us have shed in order to keep our country free. It is a powerful symbol. But at the end of the day, it is just a flag. It has no symbological meaning unless we give it.

The teacher is the issue here, however, the teacher burned two small flags, apparently in an example of free speech, and had their students write what it meant to them.

The best way to know if this method was effective, would be of course to read what the children wrote. At the end of all this mess, it is not about you, nor is it about me. It is about what these children learned and the respect that may have been given to them not only for the freedom of speech, but also for the flag and what it symbolizes. The burning of an American flag has always symbolized distress and the ultimate form of protest. It is when you have lost the affirmation of your country's path, and felt as though you have lost a part of your country. That is my symbology behind burning the flag.

If those kids learned the power of burning that flag, and the seriousness that goes behind performing that act, then the teacher should be applauded, not crucified. Where exactly, upstanding members of this country, did it ever get to wrapping a teacher in a flag, and setting it alight because they had committed an act that fell within the freedom of speech?



posted on Aug, 22 2006 @ 04:02 PM
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Well, this was not science lab, so I do not believe it was even within school policies to have fire in the classroom. He was indeed violating a fire code, and the disciplinary action against him was for that reason, not against him expressing a freedom of speech. Therefore I believe the consequences were appropriate, although I most definetly do not agree he should be burned as some other suggested.

I am not typically against the freedom for people to burn flags, although it does hurt me to see it happen because in most cases people either do it to be asses or for other ignorant reasons, and not necessarily as an expression of protest utilizing free speech.

He should have gotten the approval and done it otuside IF it even had any relevance to what he was teaching as far as I am concerned.



posted on Aug, 22 2006 @ 04:06 PM
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I'm honestly not all that suprised about hearing about this incident. What can I say...I mean if the Islamic extremists can have parades and burn our flag and stomp on it. Why can't spineless cowards have their day too.



posted on Aug, 22 2006 @ 04:08 PM
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How shameful? Are you all upset now, are you Niteboy82 ? Is your cage rattled?
Funny how this topic brings out different feelings from different people.

I find you silly. You say the only way we'll ever know how this "freedom of
expression" experiment comes out is by reading what the children wrote.

It's all about teaching the children!

If we gave them a plain piece of white cloth and a flag and told them to burn them
both, and then write down how it made them feel, what do you think would happen?
Wait, just before they set them on fire, we tell them that the plain white cloth was
the last thing handed down by their great, great grandmother. But still they light
both pieces on fire. . . . . . . .Now they write down their thoughts.
Do you think knowing more about that piece of white cloth would change their
written thoughts ?

Teaching the children Niteboy82, teaching the children.



posted on Aug, 22 2006 @ 04:24 PM
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so this is an example of free speech? and you believe it should be protected?


To put this into perspective for some this would be like a nazi showing kids how to draw swastikas and then putting one on the schools sign or writing "I hate queers"
on the chalkboard.


hey! thats freedom of speech!

Freedom of speech and of your opinion within reason!


burning a flag in a classroom is NOT a reasonable demonstration of Freedom of Speech. plain and simple. Aside from the safety issues it is blatantly disrespectful to those who preceded us and fought and died for those freedoms.



posted on Aug, 22 2006 @ 04:30 PM
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Originally posted by XphilesPhan
and you believe it should be protected?


As does the Supreme Court.



To put this into perspective for some this would be like a nazi showing kids how to draw swastikas and then putting one on the schools sign or writing "I hate queers"
on the chalkboard.


I support it. (It would not be like putting a swastika on the school sign. That's defacing school property) But showing kids how to draw a swastika or writing "I hate queers" is freedom to those who wish to exercise it as such.



hey! thats freedom of speech!


That's right!



Freedom of speech and of your opinion within reason!



Within whose reason? And where is this 'within reason' clause elaborated on in the Constitution?





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