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

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posted on Aug, 22 2006 @ 06:31 PM
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Flag burning in class is also hazardous....I mean seriously wtf was he thinking...Plus how would you like it if he burned a bible or a quran as freedom of speech? I don't have a religion but I know that would be offensive...America means alot to many people and to burn the flag that represents america infront of young students is dishonorable and immature. I'm glad he was kicked out...


[edit on 22-8-2006 by laiguana]




posted on Aug, 22 2006 @ 06:38 PM
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Originally posted by Yodie78
What can I say...I mean if the Islamic extremists can have parades and burn our flag and stomp on it.


Here's what I find bothersome regarding this happening in a classroom. If any other country wants to protest and trash us this is one of the things they do. They do it because they know it will be offenssive to many - disrespectful. Now, it shouldn't take a brain surgeon to understand that this action is something that offends a lot of people. Let's just ignore all that and act like a bunch of people who would take our freedoms away (and our lives if they could) in a heartbeat if they had the chance

For people who do respect their flag, and are perhaps sharing that with their children, it is totally out of place to send your child off to school to have a teacher dis your values and those values you may be sharing with your children. If any parent wants to teach their kids any kind of respect (lord knows there's not much respect left for anything anymore, let alone a flag) then something they respect is disrespected in school - sorry - that is just wrong.

I for one wouldn't want any teacher demonstrating freedom of speech that is going to be hurtful to another to the kids. Not burning a flag, not making a derogatory remark about anyone, I understand that my freedom of speech allows me to do things that are hurtful to other people, but it goes outside my boundaries to exercise it with a total disregard for other people. This is where the teacher crossed the line, especially if there are parents of these children whose values have been dissed.

This was just a real bad call.



posted on Aug, 22 2006 @ 07:53 PM
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I disagree Relentless.

I think I'd rather have my child go to school and see such a thing, and form an opinion on whats too much, whats not, and what freedom of speech really is.

Its just a flag, what matters is the symbolism behind it. The teacher wanted to show them this, and ask them to write a paper on theyre opinions of freedom of speech, in all aspects.

Remember the time when school was a greek institution of learning and deep thought? You know, reaching out to not just the status quo of knowledge, but perhaps pondering the edgier or more taboo aspects of knowledge?

I guess its only freedom of speech when you say or do something everybody agrees with



posted on Aug, 23 2006 @ 03:37 AM
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I am one of the staunchest defenders of the First Amendment that you will find. Yet I didn't need to see an American flag being burned to make me feel this way. What's next - bringing a fully loaded firearm to school to illustrate my Second Amendment rights?

And the guy wasn't removed because of the fact that he dared to burn a flag in the classroom. He was removed because he was an idiot firebug that could have endangered the students.



posted on Aug, 23 2006 @ 04:51 AM
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Originally posted by WolfofWar
I disagree Relentless.

I think I'd rather have my child go to school and see such a thing, and form an opinion on whats too much, whats not, and what freedom of speech really is.

Its just a flag, what matters is the symbolism behind it. The teacher wanted to show them this, and ask them to write a paper on theyre opinions of freedom of speech, in all aspects.



In a school of higher learning perhaps, but I do find this inappropriate for 7th grade, what are we talking 12 year olds? Sorry, this flys too far in the face of the values of many of the children and parents who were exposed to it. Read the article, a lot of the kids felt it was wrong. I don't think this age group should have their values put into question at this age, even if they are their parents values. No one should be messing with the values taught by a childs family in a school situation.

I just don't see why he couldn't have just used pictures. He could have shown them a picture of our flag being burned in another country, like after 9/11, had them write an essay about that, then shown them a picture of an American on American soil burning the flag and had them write an essay on that. I really think this would have been much more effective.

I would never burn the flag. There are a lot of things I wouldn't do that are perfectly acceptable in todays society. If these were my children though I would have a serious problem with a teacher going that far with my 12 year olds mind. It's just age inappropriate, it crosses a boundary over who is shaping the minds of our children. Is it anyone elses business to be shaping the values and interpretations of acceptable behavior of a 12 year old besides the parent/family unit?



posted on Aug, 23 2006 @ 05:50 AM
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Relentless, I agree totally with your view.

I believe the teacher used poor judgment and his captive audience was a bit too young for such displays. We can rationalize it by thinking our kids are exposed to worse on T.V., or video games, or whatever (and they probably are), but why expose them to more.

Beyond my personal opinion of poor judgment and lack of propriety, I would not go too far in attacking the teacher. While I am personally appalled at witnessing our flag being burned, I realize other rational people are not appalled and see it as an act which celebrates the freedoms our flag represents.

In the grand scheme of things, we have far worse problems to worry about.

As for me personally, I would not burn the flag nor let it touch the ground. It should be displayed above other flags and lit up at night.



posted on Aug, 23 2006 @ 05:52 AM
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Did anyone think that when a flag is old, you have to burn it? That is part of "flag ettiquette".

And speaking about disregarding the flag, take a look at WestPoint23's avatar. Sorry, but I call that picture as disgraceful as the teacher burning the flag in the classroom. Who knows where the model might have been? After all, she is soiling the flag, is she not?

[edit on 23-8-2006 by ceci2006]



posted on Aug, 23 2006 @ 07:37 AM
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Originally posted by Benevolent Heretic
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?


Hmm… well, while it’s not as bad as actually burning the flag in the classroom, it’s still kind of pushing it IMO. That being said however, if the teacher just showed a video of it and said something to the effect of "Well, I want you to write a paper on how you think that relates to the First Amendment…" I might be willing to buy it.


Originally posted by ceci2006
Did anyone think that when a flag is old, you have to burn it? That is part of "flag ettiquette".


Yes.


Originally posted by WestPoint23 on page 3
Burning a flag other than for necessary reasons (like disposing of it) is inappropriate…


However, that is not relevant to this particular incident.



posted on Aug, 23 2006 @ 07:37 AM
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Originally posted by Blarney63

Beyond my personal opinion of poor judgment and lack of propriety, I would not go too far in attacking the teacher. While I am personally appalled at witnessing our flag being burned, I realize other rational people are not appalled and see it as an act which celebrates the freedoms our flag represents.

In the grand scheme of things, we have far worse problems to worry about.



I too agree with you in this respect. Admit it shouldn't have happened but should he lose his job for something he does have the right to do? No. Should he face serious consequences for poor judgement? Maybe, the minds of eleven and twelve year olds are in his hands. Should there be serious repercussions regarding the fire code? Absolutely!

But back to the flag....here is a reaction from an eleven year old in the original link.


Story

Stuart sixth-grader Kelsey Adwell, 11, 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," she said. "A teacher shouldn't do that, even though it was an example."


I don't know, do they still start each day with the Pledge in school? Have all these children been ingrained with "I pledge allegience to the flag of the United States of America, and to the republic for which it stands...." then a teacher burns one in front of them? Come on, can anyone truly argue this is not something that was out of line for this age group? Even if only for the fact, misguided though it may be (to some who follow freedom of speech at all costs) that teachers are looked up to by many students. I can't imagine at this age having one of my teachers I idolized doing something I felt was so wrong. Again, just a real bad move. Of course, if no one liked him anyway, no harm done there.



posted on Aug, 23 2006 @ 10:47 AM
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I've been doing some self-analysis since yesterday's posts, and yet I come up with
the same old me here again today. Seldom does a thread affect me so
passionately, but this one did in two different ways. Originally, I was agreeing with
WESTPOINT23 about the "inappropriateness" of the burning in the classroom.
Then, someone suggested that I didn't give a hoot about the "developement" of the
children's education as per this radical lesson. And then it was about the flag and
what it does or doesn't stand for.
And now I know first-hand how difficult it is to stay on topic.
I hope I offended no one. I respect everyone's right to their own opinion.
I also care very much about "freedom of speech and freedom of expression".
With all of you out there, I feel pretty good that nobody's going to walk all over our
rights and freedoms.



posted on Aug, 23 2006 @ 02:44 PM
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Man alive guys, I've never seen a thread in PTS grow legs like this. Let's burn something sacred to celebrate!

I think the safety argument is not only dishonest but cowardly. It's not a safety issue. I'd like to know how many chemistry teachers they've canned for demonstrating magnesium fires or something of that nature.

So we move on to curriculum. He's a social studies professor, the school is saying it wasn't politically motivated, nobody has said it was unrellated to the curriculum, and he gave an assignment based on it. Safe to say it was legit in that respect.

Which leaves whether or not you can burn a flag other than in protest. I believe you can. People should be exposed to challenging ideas. Young people SHOULD face moral crisis now and then, so that they can form a serious conviction about what is right and wrong.

You don't tell a kid "it's ok to burn a flag" or "it's not ok to burn a flag" and expect it to mean anything to him. But if you just set it on fire without warning, often enough you're going to get a gut reaction from them that even they will be surprised by, and that is a strong basis for a discussion that will help them to form strong views.

I believe this teacher was building civic virtue: he was confronting young people with controversy in a way that convinced them of their interest in social issues. Not only was it appropriate but it was dang original and pretty gutsy.



posted on Aug, 23 2006 @ 03:01 PM
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The Vagabond : Don't know what you are saying! Find it hard to believe you're
teaching anything. Is it anything goes with you?
What next, loaded firearms in the classroom, (as someone suggested before)?
Maybe Thursdays can be "how does it feel to OD" day?

If there are no expectations, what then? Teach the children!



posted on Aug, 23 2006 @ 03:13 PM
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Well Siege, Since it's unlikely that these tiny burning flags would hurt anyone, I think it's a far cry from "Shoot your teacher in the head day". Try this, think of something that makes you really angry, then write about it. Write about how it makes you feel, and what made you angry. Then do the same thing with something that makes you happy. Then try it with something you couldn't care less about. Then, after all is said and done, which of the essays do you think would make the most impact to the reader? Which essay meant the most to you as the writer?



posted on Aug, 23 2006 @ 03:13 PM
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Originally posted by SIEGE
Is it anything goes with you? ... What next, loaded firearms in the classroom, (as someone suggested before)?


Why are you taking this to the extreme? Loaded guns? Wha???



Maybe Thursdays can be "how does it feel to OD" day?


You're comparing an example of free speech to dangerous, illegal activity?



If there are no expectations, what then?


Where do you get this?



Teach the children!


Teach them what? That Free Speech is fine as long as no one's offended?



posted on Aug, 23 2006 @ 03:27 PM
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Originally posted by Benevolent Heretic
Teach them what? That Free Speech is fine as long as no one's offended?


No, teach them that free speech is governed by time, place and manner; you are talking in absolutes and disregarding the circumstances. Like I said in an earlier example if you go to you local park when all the soccer moms take their kids to play and you start yelling the most offensive terms and words you can think of in a loudspeaker you’re going to get in trouble for it. Whatever your reason or purpose it’s simply inappropriate. Is it free speech? Yeah ok maybe in theoretical absolute terms, but there are restrictions on everything for one reason or another, whether you agree with that or not, that’s how it is.



[edit on 23-8-2006 by WestPoint23]



posted on Aug, 23 2006 @ 03:49 PM
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West,
Whether you agree with the act or not, it's not the same as yelling expletives at children. Asking children to think about the world around them is not an act of aggression.

And I'll add, just because you can't see reason in it, doesn't mean there is none. With the amount of responses in this thread with a contrary point of view to your's, tat should be proof enough that the subject is debatable, and therefore educational.



posted on Aug, 23 2006 @ 05:03 PM
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BH- You said, "Teach them what? That free speech is fine as long as no one's
offended?"

No, I'm not saying that and you know it. I'm just saying that all rights should be
tempered with common sense, compromise, and tolerance.
Does something always have to be taken to the extreme? Does someone always
have to be offended when freedom is exercised? If teaching included the three
characteristics above, wouldn't that be a good thing?

Rasobasi420 : Why don't YOU try this? You come up with something that's
comparable to burning flags in the classroom, okay? Everytime we give you an
example of something that could be taken to the extreme, as in this case of the
flag burning, you cry that it's "not the same"," it's not comparable". Well, why
don't you give us an example that is comparable?

I think you people just like to complain because "you can".



posted on Aug, 23 2006 @ 05:27 PM
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As a former teacher, I know that the average attention span of a 12 or 13 y.o. is about zero unless it's something they find interesting or outrageous. Watching a movie of a flag burning just doesn't have the same impact. Sounds to me like the teacher was trying to really get them to think and decide for themselves if flag burning is OK or not. What better way to teach them the importance of freedom of speech than by doing something extreme? What about flag burning would be harmful to a child's mind? They see the flag burning, have hopefully a strong reaction one way or another and hey they've learned something about themselves and what thier values are. It's not superceding the parents authority, etc. because the teacher wasn't endorsing any viewpoint, he was trying to get the kids to think for themselves. It's actually a very common technique with teachers, to get the kids shocked by something and then talk about what their reactions were.

Besides that, the guy has taught for almost 30. Don't you think by now he knows what he's doing in the classroom? So the kids didn't like the flag being burned. They haven't been traumatized in ANY way and just because they watched it being burned doesn't mean they are going to rush out and do the same. If the kids were turned off by it, then they will have learned something about themselves and their values. 12 and 13 y.o. is the perfect time to teach kids about what THEIR values are, not just blindly follow because someone told them to.

And hey, if Congress saw fit not to ban flag burning, that's good enough for me.
BTW, Westpoint, your avatar bothers me, too. Making a flag into clothing is simply against all flag protocol and demeans the flag. I don't think your avatar is appropriate for some of our younger members to see, they may not learn to respect the flag OK?



posted on Aug, 23 2006 @ 09:41 PM
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Originally quoted by forestlady
BTW, Westpoint, your avatar bothers me, too. Making a flag into clothing is simply against all flag protocol and demeans the flag. I don't think your avatar is appropriate for some of our younger members to see, they may not learn to respect the flag OK?


Thank you forestlady for pointing out the hypocrisy of West Point's argument about disrespecting the flag.

The model in his avatar should be a moral lesson for him. Objectifying women is one thing. But that avatar is very offensive in the way that he is cavalier about the flag. How can he argue against this teacher, when he himself displays a model wearing the American flag in a manner that debases its message?

It is disgusting.

As for the teacher, he is practicing his First Amendment rights as West Point is. But there is something called tact. And that avatar does not show any tact. The teacher did show tact in his demonstration. The kids learned an important civics lesson.

It makes one wonder, however. If WestPoint sees nothing wrong in displaying the model soiling the American Flag by wearing it, what exactly are they teaching at West Point? Is that what our young officers are learning? To debase women and the American flag at the same time?




[edit on 23-8-2006 by ceci2006]



posted on Aug, 23 2006 @ 10:07 PM
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Oh gees, my avatar, huh were to begin let me see here...


Originally posted by forestlady
BTW, Westpoint, your avatar bothers me, too. Making a flag into clothing is simply against all flag protocol and demeans the flag.


Well, I’m sorry that it bothers you, I don't see why it should, making flag into clothing may be against the official flag code but it’s one of those rules that I personally don't see too much harm in breaking. I’ve seen, police officers, politicians, vets, active enlistees, and regular Joe’s wear the flag as part of their attire, now you’re going to tell me they were being demeaning to the flag? No, it just depends on how you go about it, displaying the flag IMO is not demeaning or disrespectful.


Originally posted by forestlady
I don't think your avatar is appropriate for some of our younger members to see, they may not learn to respect the flag OK?


That’s ok, if any of those young members contact me I will personally give them an explanation on how to respect the flag and explain step by step how they can ignore me.

And Ceci, my Avatar and what the teacher did are worlds apart, you’re either not paying attention to what I'm saying or I don't know what... Remember the key words, school, classroom, curriculum, burning, try connecting the dots.


That's the last time I’m going to discuss this, I believe the title is... Stuart Middle School teacher burns U.S. flags in class.






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