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

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posted on Aug, 22 2006 @ 04:34 PM
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Originally posted by SIEGE
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.


Amen to that. That is exactly the point. It's called ethics, sense of pride...RESPECT. I'm glad some people on this board are genuine...because I can't believe some of the tastless remarks I've read above.




posted on Aug, 22 2006 @ 04:49 PM
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Originally posted by XphilesPhan
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!

I guess if a NAZI was in a school being allowed to preach hate, I think drawing the anchient swastika symbol which originated thousands of years ago, and was seen as a symbol of good luck is the least of our worries. If you choose to continue to associate that symbol with a hateful group who tagged it with that only recently in history, instead of what it has meant for many people on Earth for thousands of years that is your freedom.

I used to tag desks and lockers with that symbol in middle and high school after I actually decided to research its origins. Sometimes I would write peace and good luck under it too, because I chose to associate it with its anchient and true meaning.

Of course if the school approves that kind of decision, you have a right as a parent to be notified and refuse to allow your child to be exposed to that as well. So sure I guess thats ok. As long as the teacher explains the origins of the Swastika and the alternate symbolism it carried until the rise of Hitler, because everyone should at least hear both sides of a story.



posted on Aug, 22 2006 @ 04:50 PM
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Originally posted by Benevolent Heretic

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


Well you are right there....but I think it's common courteousy to not burn flags in classrooms in front of children.

*shrugs* maybe Im just old fashioned.....



posted on Aug, 22 2006 @ 04:59 PM
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Originally posted by DYepes
I guess if a NAZI was in a school being allowed to preach hate, I think drawing the anchient swastika symbol which originated thousands of years ago, and was seen as a symbol of good luck is the least of our worries. If you choose to continue to associate that symbol with a hateful group who tagged it with that only recently in history, instead of what it has meant for many people on Earth for thousands of years that is your freedom.


yes the straight swastika was actually an ancient symbol that I have seen buddhists use.

the swastika turned to 45 degree angle is the one Adolf Hitler used.

but that was not my point, my point is the way he demonstrated the idea of free speech to children.

believe it or not drawing a crucifix on a chalkboard will probably get you into more trouble than drawing the swastika would.

I actually remember when in my high school history class a student asked about Jesus Christ and she was actually afraid to discuss the topic!!!! (despite being a christian herself)

Is that not also freedom of speech and freedom of ideas?

My biggest complaint is the secret police of the USA (ACLU, etc) has determined what is and what is not appropriate topics of dicussion in the classroom despite freedom of speech. Often times what they deem appropriate is far from the moral basis on which the United States was founded.



posted on Aug, 22 2006 @ 05:03 PM
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Before some of you armchair patriots get all in an uproar about this lets understand that no matter how many flags are burned it is still just a damn flag. Being a true American is something inside us and THAT cannot ever be burned. Dont get all flusterd over flag burning... its just symbolism, nothing more. If that teacher was trying to make a constructive educational example to those kids with a positive outcome over it then burn 100 flags... so what!

Cripes we are such a damn anal society anymore....



posted on Aug, 22 2006 @ 05:16 PM
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I do not see why religion should not be taught in school. In fact all three major religions of the world should be taught about throughout the school years. Not necessarily telling the students they should believe in each one, but mroe of a study of each one. By the time they become independant thinking, they will know enough about each, or any others they choose to study along the way to pick what they feel is right, or just become athiest.

After all one should not dismiss something if they know nothing about it, especially when many religions have provided the foundation and basis for societies currently accepted moral values and the judicial system we implement to enforce the consequences for violations of these accepted moral values. But that is a whole other topic completely, and has nothing to do with flag burning.

The big issue here was not the freedom of speech, but the blatant disregard for fire codes and possible violations, especially when it involves children at school in an enclosed area full of combustable paper plastered all over the walls and inside WOODEN desks.



posted on Aug, 22 2006 @ 05:28 PM
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My reaction to the flag burning: sex education should not be substituted with display of pornography in the classroom.

I really think that this guy was looking for publicity, among other things. I just think what he did was disgusting -- and I'm all for free speech, by the way. I don't care that this was legal under the Consitution. Getting drunk is often legal, but it doesn't mean I should like a person who is s-faced.



posted on Aug, 22 2006 @ 05:36 PM
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I really can't understand the melodrama of the situation
Some of the parallels being drawn (i.e. Nazis, homophobia, etc.) are just downright ludicrous.

Has anyone stopped to actually think what "freedom of speech" actually means? Freedom of speech is NOT about demanding unconditional respect for an ideology represented through a piece of worthless cloth!

"Hey kids, freedom of speech means u can express whatever u feel, but don;t burn the American flag, cos u can't do that, ok? Thats not allowed".

The sequence of events has taught the kids the irony of this so-called "freedom of speech" business in the US more than any teacher could (EDIT: and I'm not saying its much different over here tbh).

Hmm... not so long ago I remember a big hoo-har about a backlash from a certain religion about depicting a certain religious figure in comic sketch. A lot of people banged on about freedom of speech then, didn't they?

I'll admit I'm English, so i dont really understand the big deal here, but in some sense it gives me wuite an objective viewpoint. If someone burnt a UK flag in a classroom, no-one would batter an eyelid (tell a lie, the teacher would probably be hauled up on some stupid health and safty charge, and flags would be banned in classrooms around the country).

Given the context of the act, a lot of u couldn't be further off if u tried. He wasn't some raving loon who burnt the flag whilst singing old soviet marching songs, telling the kids to riot in the streets smashing all public monuments in protest, he was teaching the kids about the duality of true free speech, and how sometimes u gotta think about a persons right to do/say something that runs contrary to what they feel strongly (or not so strongly) about. Surley thats what freedom of speech is about, right? he wasn't saying anything hatefull, so whats the big deal?

[edit on 22-8-2006 by john_bmth]

[edit on 22-8-2006 by john_bmth]



posted on Aug, 22 2006 @ 05:39 PM
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It'd be hilarious if the teacher said something along the lines of "No other place in the world like our great nation would allow us to burn this flag. Wars have been fought to protect our right to do this!" followed by the children finding out he got fired. Alas, freedom of speech is a fairy tale. I hope the children learned their lesson well.

Its a flag. The flag and what it symbolizes is exactly what gives us the right to burn it in protest. No one is saying "DEATH TO THE IMPERIAL AMERICAN PIGVOMIT FROM HELL!" He was just trying to make a point.



posted on Aug, 22 2006 @ 06:02 PM
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A 7th grade teacher lit ablaze "flag on a stick" handheld replicas, and he asked the students to submit a written response of their thoughts on such. M'kay.

In my opinion, his intent seemed more an effort to gauge the response, as to the Symbolism, of witnessing a burning of the flag. Not so much "the act of", being right or wrong, but more "how does it make you feel?" You know ... the flag, towers, baseball, apple pie and Chevrolet. ?

Pride or Principle?

While sooo many seem to use/see the burning of the flag as the ultimate demonstration against "Them", I see it more as a failed and unfocused generalization as to who "Them" is. ?

Not to derail the thread, but ...

I've always considered the burning of the U.S. flag akin to scorching the ground upon which you stand.

Have a problem with a given portion thereof? Burn their flag, icon, and/or symbolism ...

Why the National flag? ... and I think this applies to any Nation.

Have a problem with Congressional activities? Burn the Congressional flag.

Have a problem with House of Representatives activities? Burn the House of Representatives flag.

Have a problem with Presidential activities? Burn the Presidential flag.


In my opinion the burning of the U.S. flag, as a demonstration, has become a rather convenient means by which to draw attention to a given "cause", regardless of overall relevance to the issues at hand





Just my $.02



posted on Aug, 22 2006 @ 06:02 PM
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I could really care less about the free speech issue. Don't like the flag, great. Like the flag, great. To me, the bigger concern is that the guy started two fires in a public school with children present. That has to be breaking some fire codes and putting the entire school at risk. Does no one have common sense anymore? I would definately fire a teacher that doesn't know that starting a fire in a public school might be a bad idea.



[edit on 22-8-2006 by zerotime]



posted on Aug, 22 2006 @ 06:04 PM
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....

Yeah....he started HUGE BONFIRES FROM FLAGS! OH NOES!

Seriously, c'mon. Look at me. C'mon.



posted on Aug, 22 2006 @ 06:06 PM
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Originally posted by Benevolent Heretic
Very weak, man... Sorry.


Uh huh... I knew this would happen, the topic switched from the teacher burning the flag in the classroom, to the topic of burning the flag in general. :shk:
They are two different things, and I still maintain that him burning the flag as part of a lesson in this case and under that setting was inappropriate. If he wants to burn it at home, fine, it's legal, I don't like it, but it's legal, however that is not the issue.

So once again I’ll state, this is about a teacher burning the flag in the classroom as part of a lesson in middle school.


Originally posted by Benevolent Heretic

Originally posted by WestPoint23
Satisfied BH?


Not even close!


Hah, there’s a joke there, and a comment, but this isn't the occasion.


[edit on 22-8-2006 by WestPoint23]



posted on Aug, 22 2006 @ 06:07 PM
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So it would be okay to fire him if the ceiling caught on fire or one of the children got burned? Come on, I know people like to try to win these threads but it just gets silly after a while. It is just my opinion anyway. Starting any type of fire in a public school = dumb.



posted on Aug, 22 2006 @ 06:11 PM
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Originally posted by zerotime
So it would be okay to fire him if the ceiling caught on fire or one of the children got burned? Come on, I know people like to try to win these threads but it just gets silly after a while. It is just my opinion anyway. Starting any type of fire in a public school = dumb.


Yeah I totally agree. If he had lit a cigarette or practically anything else he'd have definitely been fired and probably facing fines and/or jail time. But lighting a flag on fire is ok



posted on Aug, 22 2006 @ 06:14 PM
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I agree that the teacher shouldn't have started a fire in the classroom, by the way.

Just to be clear. I think he should have done this outside.

12m8keall2c, Great start to an opinion piece! I bet that's exactly the kind of thing the teacher was looking for.


A+

[edit on 22-8-2006 by Benevolent Heretic]



posted on Aug, 22 2006 @ 06:15 PM
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I slightly applaud the teacher. im sure he still loves the country. but hates the directions things are moving.

i mean,i wouldnt go burning a flag,but i sure would burn a life sized picture of bush



posted on Aug, 22 2006 @ 06:21 PM
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Hey, Westie (and others). What would you think of the teacher showing a film of someone burning the US flag then asking for the opinion piece from his students?



posted on Aug, 22 2006 @ 06:22 PM
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No see fire does have appropriate places in public schools, but it typically is in a lab room, in many instances after parents have signed a consent form . A labroom is setup for certain experiments which fire is allowed.

A typical histroy or govenrment studies classroom is sually plastered with paper all over the walls, books out in the open, and many times carpet. That is why I believe what he did was wrong. Perhaps he should have asked for authorization to burn the flag in the labroom instead.



posted on Aug, 22 2006 @ 06:28 PM
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I personally believe Nationalism is all wrong & just serves to divide humanity in general, much like religion etc...
The teacher did nothing wrong, it's a flag, nothing more, nothing less.
People get hung up on the most trivial of issues as seen by the response in this thread.
All you that are getting worked up about this have to understand that the only reason you are getting worked up is because your ego finds this offensive, sit back & think about it rationally... It's just a flag.
I respect this teacher becuase he is provoking the students to understand their psyche, if they felt offended by it then they need to understand why such a small matter causes this reaction.





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