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

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posted on Aug, 24 2006 @ 02:05 PM
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Most things that happen in school offend people anyways.

Like putting Intelligent Design in Classrooms.

Or trying to add pray into the morning schedule.


But yeah, lets worry about the demostration of flag burning with a point of free speech and public opinion.




posted on Aug, 24 2006 @ 02:18 PM
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Wolf War, I’m against all three of those things being put into schools, so if you want to start a thread and discuss why they are inappropriate for school I’m all for it.



posted on Aug, 24 2006 @ 03:15 PM
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My major conflict is that the pledge of allegence is required, while flag burning isn't allowed. It almost seems like the minds are being made up for the children before they get a chance to have a say in it.



posted on Aug, 24 2006 @ 07:20 PM
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Originally posted by SIEGE
The Vagabond : Don't know what you are saying!


Of course I do. I'm saying that I'm a card carrying communist and a member of Al Qaida to boot. Either that or for some reason I think that flags just make good kindling.

Or... gee, I dunno, maybe I see the encouragement of political concern in our youth as a more patriotic cause than quasi-religious reverence of a symbol.


Find it hard to believe you're teaching anything.

Nobody said that I was teaching anything, but if you listen closely you still might learn something.


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?


Yes, Yes, and Yes... at least as far as apples to apples is concerned.
The students did not burn the flag, they witnessed it happening in the most direct way that was safely possible. Not too much unlike showing them "Red Asphalt" in my opinion. So yes, while we're at it, let's show them firearms and drugs in action in as direct and graphic a way as safely possible.

You can't sing Eminem's "The Kids" to that kind of realistic example. That would be effective. What would you propose? Have Mr. Garrison break out Mr. Hat and Mr. Twig and say "Drugs are bad, mmmkay"?

So heck yes, a reasonable analogous demonstration on drugs or guns would be absolutely acceptible.



posted on Aug, 24 2006 @ 07:32 PM
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Firearms training should be an integral part of any public school system, especially in the country who produces and sells more of them than any other on Earth. It would also enforce the protection of the second amendmant through education and experience.



posted on Aug, 24 2006 @ 07:35 PM
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Originally posted by WestPoint23

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.


No, it's not. That's the whole reason we have a Bill of Rights: to prevent a "tyranny of the majority". Non-disruptive, non-sanctioned prayer is still legal in schools, despite the fact that many people find it inappropriate enough. Same thing for the word God in the pledge. This is a textbook example of liberals and conservatives flip-flopping their positions to suit their respective narrow world views. The defenders of the flag should take note of the fact that the oppression they are advocating in this instance sets a precendent that could later be turned on them. I strongly suggest that both sides step back and agree to tollerate one another.

If we sanctify too many cows, sooner or later we're gonna run outta food. It's time to learn to disagree like adults.



posted on Aug, 25 2006 @ 09:17 AM
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The Vagabond : Don't much care for the way you come off but then again you have
the freedom to be you don't you? Whoaaaaaaaaaa!

You said, "This is a textbook example of liberals and conservatives flip-flopping
their positions to suit their respective narrow world views."

If you had used the word "personal" instead of the word "narrow", maybe it
wouldn't have been so abrasive, would it? But being abrasive is what some people
such as yourself need to do to get their overbearing attitudes out there in front of
everyone.

As per your quote above, it is a textbook example. Where are the moderates in
your little scenario? Is it just one way or the other? No compromising?
Is your take the only true opinion?



posted on Aug, 25 2006 @ 01:47 PM
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Originally posted by SIEGE
Don't much care for the way you come off


I'm not exactly your greatest fan either but I'm sure we'll both survive somehow.


If you had used the word "personal" instead of the word "narrow", maybe it
wouldn't have been so abrasive, would it?


I am a somewhat abrassive person and in this particular case I wouldn't hold my breath for a retraction. In this country we have groups on both sides of the aisle who wish to censor anything that doesn't fit in with their world view, and that's not just personal, that's narrow minded. Thinking it's wrong to burn the flag, or that religion should be a private matter is a personal view. Pursuing censorship based on those pesonal views is narrow minded. I'm disgusted with and a little scared of the fact that there are people in this country who wish to pick and choose who gets the full benefit of our bill of rights and I stand by abraisive statement regarding them.


As per your quote above, it is a textbook example. Where are the moderates in your little scenario? Is it just one way or the other? No compromising?
Is your take the only true opinion?


I can't help but scratch my head. Apparently you see me as an extremist because I believe that both sides should respect eachother's first amendment rights?

I don't burn flags and I don't pray. I have a mild aversion to each of these activities, yet I believe that both should be protected out of respect for the first amendment. What's extremist about that?

And yes, my views are always right, to the exclusion of any others: if I thought my views were wrong they wouldn't be my views, would they? Nobody truly believes that their views aren't right, although they may state things gently if they have better manners than I do.
But guess what: even though I naturally believe that I am right, I fully respect the right of others to see things another way, and if it works out for them, more power to them: for that matter if it works out well enough I might even adopt their views so that I can continue to be right about everything.



posted on Aug, 25 2006 @ 02:31 PM
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The Vagabond : Well said ! Kind of put me in my place didn't you?
I admire your straightforwardness. I don't agree with you, but I do see what
you're trying to say now.
Sorry, but I still believe rights and freedoms have to be tempered in certain
situations. I believe in common sense, compromise, and change all at the same
time. I've always been able to find a middle ground. I refuse to believe that there
is never a chance for compromise. In this case, once again, I think the teacher was
not considering anything but "impact". No safety, no flag-burning feedback from
anyone outside of the classroom, no consequences whatsoever.



posted on Aug, 25 2006 @ 03:10 PM
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Originally posted by SIEGE
Sorry, but I still believe rights and freedoms have to be tempered in certain
situations. I believe in common sense, compromise, and change all at the same
time.


I wonder, whose judgment should we use to temper our rights and freedoms? Whose 'common sense' and by whose agreement of compromise should we exercise our rights?



posted on Aug, 25 2006 @ 03:45 PM
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Originally posted by Benevolent Heretic
I wonder, whose judgment should we use to temper our rights and freedoms? Whose 'common sense' and by whose agreement of compromise should we exercise our rights?


Well, the majority of course



posted on Aug, 25 2006 @ 04:02 PM
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Originally posted by SIEGE
The Vagabond : Well said !

Thanks


Kind of put me in my place didn't you?

I don't know about that. Far as I'm concerned a guy's place is whereever he decides to put himself; makes it difficult to put someone else in their place. You are where you are (ideologically speaking) and I hope it works out for you.



Sorry, but I still believe rights and freedoms have to be tempered in certain
situations.

I suppose I could see that, but in my humble opinion that line needs to be drawn as cautiously as possible; preferably only where real harm results.


In this case, once again, I think the teacher was not considering anything but "impact". No safety, no flag-burning feedback from anyone outside of the classroom, no consequences whatsoever.


On that I would agree with you.

In my opinion, the biggest problem that resulted was one of perception, none the less he should have considered the rammifications and made plans. He could have let the administration know he was going to do it first (and if they told him no without a good reason or an effective alternative there is always recourse through the district, teachers union, or courts- it may be easier to ask forgiveness than permission but it really ticks people off).

A major problem of perception could have been solved simply by having a fire extinguisher on hand as well- afterall, chemistry teachers set stuff on fire for the amusment of the students all the time and nobody gets bent out of shape, but a little good faith still couldn't have hurt.

Then there's public response. Controversy will happen, and probably couldn't be avoided in this case unless he just plain didn't burn the flag, but he could have made himself look better in this controversy by giving advanced notice of what he was going to do and why. If he'd explained his point to the school and parents before doing something provocative it would have been much easier to see things his way.

So he didn't execute it perfectly. I don't think what he did was inherently wrong, but I can agree that he didn't think through all of the possible consequences thoroughly enough.



posted on Aug, 26 2006 @ 11:27 AM
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Originally posted by Vitchilo
It depends on the context. If he was saying something like this:

Looks what our government did to our nation! And then he puts fire to the flag... no?


No.

He's probably asking for opinions on whether it should be a freedom of speech issue as the Fed court has said it is, or a misdemeanor as KY State law says it is. (This information was in the article, which also says it wasn't a politically motivated act according to an interview with the teacher.)



posted on Aug, 26 2006 @ 11:36 AM
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Originally posted by The Vagabond..........And yes, my views are always right, to the exclusion of any others: if I thought my views were wrong they wouldn't be my views, would they?........


I don't agree with all your views, but then I'm not you.

I do agree very strongly with your statement I've quoted here and would like to use it for a time as my signature byline, somewhat truncated so it'll fit the line. I'd like to remove the ", would they?". If you don't mind either the use or the abbreviation, I will include your user name as author.

I just wish I'd said it first. It truly bears repeating.



posted on Aug, 26 2006 @ 02:52 PM
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Burn a worthless flag. The french flag perhaps.

Mod Note: One Line Post – Please Review This Link.

[edit on 26-8-2006 by DontTreadOnMe]



posted on Aug, 27 2006 @ 11:16 AM
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Originally posted by spinstopshere
Burn a worthless flag. The french flag perhaps.


heehee, moi oui!

You do have a way with a one-liner, spinstopshere.

edited to edit quote

[edit on 27-8-2006 by curiousity]

[edit on 27-8-2006 by curiousity]



posted on Aug, 28 2006 @ 10:46 AM
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Originally posted by SIEGE
Forestlady says : "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." Really, how do you KNOW that they weren't traumatized?
What if little Johnny liked it so much that he went home and lit the curtains on fire,
(just because he could) ? What if little Sally liked it so much that she went home
and began to burn all of the books in the house, ( just because it was her right to
freedom of expression, and she could) ?
As a former teacher, wouldn't that alarm you? Maybe not if you're into extreme
classroom lessons such as flag burning. So, if the trend continues with other
teachers, where does it stop? Do we bring in a bull and show the entire neutering
procedure in another class? ( don't tell me there won't be any traumatizing then).


How do I know it woldn't traumatize them? Because I taught kids, I have a pretty good idea of what their reactions would be and that simlpy isn't how most kids would respond. And the ones that do, are probably not very well-behaved and/or have some psychological problems already. Really, that's a pretty big stretch, don't you think, from the teacher burning a flag to a kid burning all the books in his home? It is well known that usually kids who set fires are budding sociopaths and the rare exception to the rule. Besides taht, I would do it in an appropriate way, by explaining to the kids my intent and reason for doing so and also telling them "do not try this at home."

As for castrating a bull, hell, I live in a very rural community. I'm sure the kids wouldn't need a demonstration of such, they've probably all seen it before anyway. BTW, that doesn't traumatize kids either, they're used to it if they've seen it and if they haven't I would work with them of course. It really isn't traumatic to a kid if they know you have a good reason for doing so.
Castrating a bull is not the same as burning the U.S. flag, BTW. Big difference.



posted on Aug, 28 2006 @ 10:56 AM
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Originally posted by SIEGE
Sorry, but I still believe rights and freedoms have to be tempered in certain
situations.


The right to free speech should never have to be tempered. I don't think the Founding Fathers would agree with you. Our Constitution doesn't say that we have free speech only in some certain situations. If the Founding Fathers had thought so, they would have written into the Constitition.

And why is it that the teachers should have less rights than any other citizen? Answer, he/she doesn't!!! Kids should be exposed to all sides and if they're in school for 13 years, they will be and it won't be by teachers withholding their opinions.

Westpoint, I think we all need to abide by Constititonal law, not make up our own opinions and force them on others. Burning the flag is not a federal offense. You may be disturbed by a teacher burning a flag, but no one has the right to tell him he can't do it. And maybe that was the point of the whole lesson, hm? This teacher is not just forcing his opinions on the kids; he is helping them to actually experience something and then decide for themselves what their reaction is. It's called teaching kids what their own ethics are, something which not many teachers have the courage to do these days, due to the exact reaction that has been shown on this board among ATS'ers who think the teacher was wrong. I applaud this teacher's genius and courage.



posted on Aug, 28 2006 @ 03:24 PM
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And you know something Forestlady, I found it hard to believe that you have a lick
of sense for a "teacher". "Free speech and expression should never be tempered?"
What about "There's a time and a place for everything?"
I'm not exactly bowled over by the common sense that comes from some teachers.
Appears to be very little of it.
Well, why don't we all run around screaming "fire" and other crazy things? Why
don't we just get so ranted and riled that we're out of control all of the time?
Why try to do things "in good taste"?
Why have a little class? Have you ever spotted someone with "class",
that handled a certain situation or problem with a flair for fairness and dignity?
Is there a trend out there that "bad taste is okay cuz it's freedom"?

Teachers withholding their opinions? ( this I wonder about,hmm)

If the teacher didn't force his opinion on the kids, then in whose opinion was it
deemed "acceptable" to start the flags on fire in the classroom?



posted on Aug, 28 2006 @ 03:32 PM
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SIEGE, What if I decided that the time and place for desenting commentary was behind a barbed wire fence with guards posted at the entrance?

What if I decided that the time and place to bear arms was limited to a shooting range, and you weren't allowed to keep your firearm at home?

What if I decided that there is a time and place for black people not to be slaves, and this isn't it?

That "time and place" thing gets old, and is not a very good arguement.






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