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

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posted on Aug, 24 2006 @ 10:52 AM
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Originally posted by Benevolent Heretic
Have the parents and students agreed that this was inappropriate? Not just some, but ALL?

It doesn't have to be a unanimous decision. One atheist changed things for all of us.


Originally posted by Benevolent Heretic
I’m saying that a teacher should not burn the flag in class as part of a curriculum.



Have you seen the curriculum? Do you know that it expressly forbids this?

I think there was a mixup in the BB codes or whatever here, BH. I can't see you quoting yourself?

Anyway, there may not be a specific item allowing or banning the burning of the flag, but I bet there is a section in the teacher's contract that prohibits them from knowingly putting the student's life in danger.




posted on Aug, 24 2006 @ 10:55 AM
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Originally posted by Benevolent Heretic
Have the parents and students agreed that this was inappropriate? Not just some, but ALL?


It does not have to be all, plenty of students and parents thought it was inappropriate. That’s reason for concern and action.


"Certainly we're concerned about the safety aspect," Roberts said, along with "the judgment of using that type of demonstration in a class."

"She said, 'Our teacher burned a flag.' I'm like, 'What?' " Summers 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.

Summers said no advance notice had been given to parents, nor were school administrators aware of Holden's plans, Roberts said.

"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."



Originally posted by Benevolent Heretic
Have you seen the curriculum? Do you know that it expressly forbids this?


Well, since they did remove him from the class pending further action, and from the comments made by parents and other school officials I tend to think that it wasn’t something that was being promoted as part of the curriculum. But I’ll give you that perhaps it was not expressly forbidden either.


Originally posted by Benevolent Heretic
I've not seen any indication that what this teacher did was illegal OR against school policy.

All I'm trying to get from you is the acknowledgement that this is your opinion and not based on any sort of law or rule.


Neither have I; however lack of guidelines on this topic is not evidence that school policy approves of such action. BTW BH I have no problem saying this is my opinion, ultimately I believe this school should set a precedent and a make clear that such future action will not be tolerated. Should the teacher be fired, or given a warning and reinstated? To tell you the truth I’m split on that particular point, however what I am not split on is in my conviction that this was inappropriate.

[edit on 24-8-2006 by WestPoint23]



posted on Aug, 24 2006 @ 10:57 AM
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As was said before, there was no significant danger. I think this excuse is a cop out to the real question.



posted on Aug, 24 2006 @ 10:58 AM
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Originally posted by SIEGE
Oh yeah, and by the way, I don't especially like BH's avatar,


What? What's wrong with my avatar? LOL j/k



But now let's take it a little farther. Let's say that WESTPOINT23 wants to revise
their existing avatar, make it even more racy and sensual, okay? Where do we
draw the line?


ATS draws the line! We are operating within a structure that has clear boundaries and rules. "We" do not draw the line. ATS staff does.

The school should draw the line. The law, regulations, class curriculum should draw the line, but so far they haven't. The law does not prohibit what this teacher did. It's up to the school. Certainly not us.


If the school has a regulation that a teacher shall not burn anything in the classroom, I can see him getting repremanded. If the school has a regulation that teachers shall not burn flags in front of their class, then it goes against the Constitution and would be handled accordingly.


jsobecky Thanks. I fixed the original quote.


[edit on 24-8-2006 by Benevolent Heretic]



posted on Aug, 24 2006 @ 11:06 AM
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Originally posted by Benevolent Heretic
If the school has a regulation that teachers shall not burn flags in front of their class, then it goes against the Constitution and would be handled accordingly.


I don't think exactly true, you’re allowed freedom of religion under the constitution too but last I heard teachers could not wear overly religious clothing and or items to class, am I correct on that?



posted on Aug, 24 2006 @ 11:22 AM
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Originally posted by Rasobasi420
As was said before, there was no significant danger. I think this excuse is a cop out to the real question.

I haven't seen a layout of the classroom, the inspection reports on the fire extinguishers, or any other info to support your statement, which is nothing more than opinion at this point.

I remember a Rhode Island nightclub fire that went horribly bad and killed nearly 100 people due to pyrotechnics. So bad things can happen to good intentions.



posted on Aug, 24 2006 @ 11:32 AM
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Sorry, I missed this.


Originally posted by pavil
So burning any object in a classroom would be appropriate if it were to teach a lesson or elicit a response? Would a burning a cross or Koran or an effigy of someone be ok?


If racism were the subject, then yes, burning a cross might be a good way to evoke responses. If the action was part of the discussion, I think it's great. Like a field trip inside the classroom. If burning the Koran or an effigy got the students thinking about the subject at hand, yes, I'd burn that sucker!




Where is your line drawn in teaching middle school kids?


If I were a teacher, I would draw my own lines or get them from the school. THere is no clear-cut line that applies to all people. That's my point here. Westie has his line and I have mine. You just haven't seen it yet.



posted on Aug, 24 2006 @ 11:38 AM
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Originally posted by Benevolent Heretic
That's my point here. Westie has his line and I have mine.


And it’s a valid point, but what about the people who think such actions are offensive? What are they suppose to do, be home schooled? Should they have to face that everyday?

And BH, my line is better!



posted on Aug, 24 2006 @ 11:42 AM
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Originally posted by jsobecky
I remember a Rhode Island nightclub fire that went horribly bad and killed nearly 100 people due to pyrotechnics. So bad things can happen to good intentions.


I don't know the specifics either, but I'm willing to bet that the teacher had enough sense to burn a tiny flag in a safe way.

The Station fire that you're talking about is very different. The nightclub was small, the soundproofing was highly highly flamable, and they had high level pyrotechnics aimed at a flamable wall. The whole thing was organized by idiots, and on a much much larger scale than anything this teacher did.

BTW, has anyone given any thought to writing that essay I talked about earlier?



posted on Aug, 24 2006 @ 11:49 AM
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Originally posted by WestPoint23
but what about the people who think such actions are offensive? What are they suppose to do, be home schooled?


No, they're supposed to be offended. We all get offended. Being offended is part of life. Every day for some. It's ok, it doesn't hurt and we can move on from there. It actually makes us stronger!

They were apparently supposed to write about it! "When Mr. Watz-his-face burned our nations flag, I was very offended! My flag means blah, blah, blah to me and I felt offended that he thought so little of the symbol as I watched it go up in flames..."

A+ kid! Great report!

What's the big deal about being offended? Why must we avoind being offended? What's more important? Our Constitutionally guaranteed rights or having your feelings hurt? Be offended! But don't stop people from exercising their rights so you don't have to feel bad.




posted on Aug, 24 2006 @ 12:13 PM
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Originally posted by Benevolent Heretic
No, they're supposed to be offended. We all get offended. Being offended is part of life. Every day for some. It's ok, it doesn't hurt and we can move on from there.


See I don’t agree with this, you go to school to get educated not abused by your teacher, and yes being purpously offended everyday by your teacher is a form of abuse.


Originally posted by Benevolent Heretic
What's the big deal about being offended? Why must we avoind being offended? What's more important? Our Constitutionally guaranteed rights or having your feelings hurt? Be offended! But don't stop people from exercising their rights so you don't have to feel bad.


See I don’t agree with this, there have to be limitations and regulations; what you’re proposing simply wouldn’t work. I don’t want someone in my neighborhood getting a loud speaker and saying really offensive things all day long, nor do I want someone walking around naked saying they are exercising their right to expression.

Things must be balanced out, and the way we do that is by having certain restriction placed upon by time, place and manner. You still get to do whatever you want and I don’t have to be bothered by it.



posted on Aug, 24 2006 @ 12:16 PM
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BH : What the . . . . . .. .. .?

Offend me, Offend me, offend me.

Make it hurt so good.

Life's got to offer something better than being offended everyday! Come on!

Hey, BH, come on !!!!!!!



posted on Aug, 24 2006 @ 12:28 PM
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Originally posted by WestPoint23
See I don’t agree with this, you go to school to get educated not abused by your teacher, and yes being purpously offended everyday by your teacher is a form of abuse.


Abuse? It's abuse, now? You're submitting that the teacher was purposely offending his students and you also mention every day. He did this one time. Not every day. Besides, I was offended by things my teachers did and said in school plenty of times! Weren't you?

I had a teacher once ask me if I was trying to take over her job just because I asked a question. I got sent into the hallway. I was offended! Not abused.



I don’t want someone in my neighborhood getting a loud speaker and saying really offensive things all day long, nor do I want someone walking around naked saying they are exercising their right to expression.


These things are against public behavior laws (obscenity laws, public nuisance and public nudity laws). What the teacher did was not against the law.



You still get to do whatever you want and I don’t have to be bothered by it.


Not true. We all get 'bothered'. By people wearing pants so that their underwear shows, by public displays of affection, by dirty and stinky people. By fat people in short shorts. By people hitting and screaming at their kids. By children in restaurants and theaters. By people wearing the flag as clothing. We don't have a right not to be bothered or offended.



[edit on 24-8-2006 by Benevolent Heretic]



posted on Aug, 24 2006 @ 12:56 PM
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Originally posted by Benevolent Heretic
Abuse? It's abuse, now? You're submitting that the teacher was purposely offending his students and you also mention every day. He did this one time. Not every day. Besides, I was offended by things my teachers did and said in school plenty of times! Weren't you?


It can be, and I was referring to your assertion that we have a right to be offended whether purposely or not all the time and everywhere. I was not referring to this teacher, it was a hypothetical scenario, and remember BH once you open Pandora’s Box, so to speak, you have to be ready for all types of "engaging" and "educational" lessons that may be planned by teachers. I can see more than a few examples of this being problematic. One of them is the history; I’d hate to see some of the lesson plans of southern teachers when it comes to covering the topic of slavery and such. There has to be a standard and limit, like one member said where do YOU draw the line?

And personally speaking I’ve had my share of teachers who were "outspoken", they would have gotten in trouble if I had said anything but it was an understating. One such teacher was foaming at the mouth the day after the November elections (2004). He said some pretty offensive stuff; he made it clear that these were just his opinions, this was English class BTW and he spent a quarter of the class bashing a few people. Now, was I offended? No. Does make what he did appropriate? Nope.


Originally posted by Benevolent Heretic
These things are against public behavior laws (obscenity laws, public nuisance and public nudity laws). What the teacher did was not against the law.


Uh huh, but WHY are there laws and regulations against those? Perhaps because we as a society deem such actions as offensive and inappropriate under certain circumstances? Hmm…


Originally posted by Benevolent Heretic
Not true. We all get 'bothered'. By people wearing pants so that their underwear shows, by public displays of affection, by dirty and stinky people. By fat people in short shorts. By people hitting and screaming at their kids. By children in restaurants and theaters. By people wearing the flag as clothing. We don't have a right not to be bothered or offended.


Uh huh, but everything that you mentioned can be done in PUBLIC, as such when you are out and about there is a certain level of offensive stuff out there, that’s ok its just how it is. However all those that you listed can be outlawed and banned in certain places and under certain settings for one reason or another, places such as schools, restaurants and stores… Like I said, time, place and manner.



posted on Aug, 24 2006 @ 01:20 PM
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So what better time or place to display an action that is a highly debatable, and has held the floor of both congress and the supreme court than in a civics class?


Simply put, if the subject is as debatable as we are making it right now, then it's place is in the classroom.



posted on Aug, 24 2006 @ 01:27 PM
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Like I said, I might be able to accept showing a video of someone burning the flag or just debating it without any video at all. The members of Congress and ATS can both just as passionately discuss the topic without the need to burn the flag. That’s where the teacher crossed the line; he actually burned the flag in class (twice).



posted on Aug, 24 2006 @ 01:31 PM
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Originally posted by WestPoint23
That’s where the teacher crossed the line; he actually burned the flag in class (twice).


What's the difference if he does it, and then talks about it, or if someone on video does it, then talks about it? And, since it's all about the symbolism, what would te difference be if he asked kids to imagine a flag being burned? Isn't that just as disrespectful? Why or Why Not

500 words



posted on Aug, 24 2006 @ 01:43 PM
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Hey, there's a new internet cafe' opening over there !
How about I buy the first round, just to show you guys that I enjoy listening
to "all" sides and views. How about it BH? Rasobasi420? Forestlady? Niteboy82?
Westpoint23?
I'm learning something new from all of ya!



posted on Aug, 24 2006 @ 01:43 PM
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Originally posted by Rasobasi420
What's the difference if he does it, and then talks about it, or if someone on video does it, then talks about it?


The difference is he is a teacher, in class; as such he should not be burning the flag even if it was for "discussion". Showing the actions of another, or discussing them as an example then asking your student’s how they feel about is more acceptable to me. That person in the video, was in the proper place and burned the flag for whatever reason, he has a right to do that, however you in here as a teacher shouldn’t. I can give you other scenarios like the cursing thing if you still need more explanation.

Err… 648 words? Is this supposed to mean something to me?



posted on Aug, 24 2006 @ 01:56 PM
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The cursing thing doesn't enter into it. My point is if the problem is with desecrating a symbol, then the damage is not caused in the act, but through the interpretation of the act, in the mind. So with that, the same effect can be achieved by simply thinking of the act. Therefore, the thought of destroying the flag has the same effect as the act of doing so.

the 500 words thing was to remind everyone that the point of his actions was to spark intelligent thought and debate. So, whether you agree with what he did or not, his desired results have spread much farther than he expected when he initially commited the act.





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