Middle School Teacher Motivates Kids By Burning 2 American Flags

Discussion in 'Current Events' started by GotZoom, Aug 22, 2006.

  1. GotZoom
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    GotZoom Senior Member

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    What an idiot.

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    LOUISVILLE, Ky. — A middle school teacher in Louisville has been removed from the classroom after burning two American flags in class as part of a civics lesson.

    Dan Holden, a seventh-grade social studies teacher at Stuart Middle School, burned two flags Friday as part of a lesson on freedom of speech, said Jefferson County schools spokeswoman Lauren Roberts said.

    The students were asked to write an opinion paper on the flag burning, Roberts said.

    Holden, a teacher in the school district since 1979, has been reassigned to non-instructional duties while the incident is under investigation.

    Roberts said the flag burning did not appear to be politically motivated, based on an interview with Holden.

    The district also alerted city fire officials.

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

    Pat Summers, whose daughter was in Holden's class, told The Courier-Journal of Louisville that more than 20 parents showed up at the school Monday, upset over the incident. Click here to read the Courier-Journal story.

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

    Brent McKim, president of the Jefferson County Teachers Association, said Holden has "been teaching for many years, and has by all accounts a good teaching record. It was not a political statement and was meant to illustrate a controversial issue. To fire someone because of that would be inappropriate," he said. "It wasn't like he was taking one side or another."

    An attempt to pass a constitutional amendment prohibiting flag burning failed in the U.S. Senate earlier this year.

    Beth Wilson, director of Kentucky's American Civil Liberties Union, said the school district is allowed to decide what's instructionally appropriate.

    But "if a school is masking their objections to flag burning under the guise of safety, it raises questions about freedom of speech and academic freedom," she said. She said the ACLU would monitor the case but is not involved at this point.

    Stuart sixth-grader Kelsey Adwell, 11, said students were abuzz about the incident on Monday.

    "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."

    http://www.foxnews.com/story/0,2933,209750,00.html
     
  2. Bonnie
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    Bonnie Senior Member

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    Bravo to the parents and the school for taking action.
     
  3. Abbey Normal
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    Abbey Normal Senior Member

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    Hmmm. Would the ACLU be protecting his rights if the flag looked like this?


    [​IMG]

    (flag of the Nation of Islam)
     
  4. Avatar4321
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    Avatar4321 Diamond Member Gold Supporting Member

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    im am so tired of people using the freedom of speech cop out whenever they get caught doing something they know they shouldnt.

    Conduct is not protected under the First amendment. And if anyone honestly thinks starting fires in a classroom is a good way to protect children, they are insane.
     
  5. Mr. P
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    Mr. P Senior Member

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    Should that read: Brent McKim, president of the Jefferson County Teachers UNION, said Holden has "been teaching for many years,...
     
  6. Hagbard Celine
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    Hagbard Celine Senior Member

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    The act was obviously symbolic, as is anything having to do with flag, which is itself, a symbol. The teacher burned the flag to elicit an emotional response from students so that they could write a paper about how they felt about flag burning. It's not as if the teacher was trying to indoctrinate the students with anti-US sentiments. The article even says the incident was not politically motivated. I think the teacher got what he deserves if he burned something indoors--that's just stupid. But the outrage expressed by you guys and the teachers and students over a symbolic act exhibits, I think, an intolerance of other viewpoints that borders dangerously close to fascism and jingoistic flag worship as well as a perverse idea of social priorities.
     
  7. GotZoom
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    GotZoom Senior Member

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    Replace with patriotism.

    He could have done many things to "motivate" - shown pictures of someone buring the flag.

    He could have even picked a foreign flag to burn.

    To pick his own countries flag was irresponsible, disrespectful and foolish.
     
  8. Mr. P
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    Mr. P Senior Member

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    How do you know that it was symbolic?
    What outrage "By you guys"?
     
  9. Hobbit
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    Hobbit Senior Member

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    While I question the wisdom of actually burning a flag to demonstrate freedom of speech (it is quite an object lesson, but then again, so would having sex in front of a health class), the main problem I see here is that he...STARTED A FIRE! You can get away with that in a science lab, but a civics class?
     
  10. ScreamingEagle
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    ScreamingEagle Gold Member

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    This was not a private act by himself on his own time. This guy is a teacher who WORKS for the U.S. government.....meaning us, the people. We pay taxes to cover his paycheck. Burning our flag is insulting to us, the people who love our flag and all it stands for. Thus, the bum should get canned just like any employee who insults his employer.
    :salute:
     
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