A Florida high school science teacher was removed from his classroom after writing a whiteboard statement blasting students who refuse to stand for the Pledge of Allegiance or “The Star-Spangled Banner,” the Florida Times-Union reported.
The full message reads:
THINK: We had about a half million Americans die in our Civil War, which was largely to get rid of slavery. There are no longer separate water fountains and bathrooms in Jacksonville for “white” and “colored,” as Mr. Goodman remembers from the 1960′s. We had an amendment to the U.S. Constitution allowing women the right to vote. We have had a black president. The superintendent of Duval Schools is a black woman. Mr. Fluent, our principal, replaced a black man, Mr. Simmons, who now is a D.C.P.S. administrator.
MY POINT? You are all extremely lucky to be living in the U.S.A. If you refuse to stand during the Pledge of Allegiance or our National Anthem, are you revealing maturity and wisdom? Actually, you are displaying the opposite. (AS SOME PAMPERED ARROGANT CELEBRITIES AND ATHLETES TEND TO DO) — Mr. G
How did the school district react?
The teacher has been removed from the classroom while the Office of Professional Standards for Duval County Public Schools undertakes the matter for “review and appropriate action,” the Times-Union reported.
“The statements made by the educator are not consistent with state statute or school board policy,” the district’s statement also said, the paper noted.
The school’s Principal Justin Fluent added a statement to the Times-Union: “I believe classrooms provide the perfect place to have insightful and thought-provoking discussions about patriotic expressions and civil liberty. However, this must be done in a productive and respectful way, and in accordance with law and school board policy.”
More from the paper:
Florida Statute 1003.44 and Board Policy 3.60 says students are excused from reciting or standing for the pledge as long as their parent or legal guardian files a written request. The district’s code of conduct covers this as well. It says students have the right “not to participate,” which includes “reciting,” “standing and placing the right hand over [their] heart.”
What did others have to say?
The Facebook post showing Goodman’s whiteboard message elicited nearly 2,000 comments since it was posted Wednesday.
Some commenters were appalled by the teacher’s message:
- “Oh hell no! Who the flip does he think he is?! I don’t wish my son had a teacher like this because I would show out!”
- “Please fire this teacher because it’s this kind of ignorance that is sending this world straight to hell… ignorance isn’t something people are born with, it is taught verbally and visually.”
- “I send my children to school to learn approved curriculum. Not his one-sided, biased, uniformed opinion. If he was smart he would of stuck to his assigned subject, but based on the nature of the post he has already proven otherwise.”
- “And it’s written very aggressively. We don’t need this to be the first thing our children experience, ever. Especially from a teacher.”
But others agreed with him:
- “People who agree with disrespecting our country are the reasons our country is failing. I’m truly amazed at the disrespect people have for this country but yet expect things to change.”
- “To be fair, we are lucky to live here. There [are] still countries that don’t have freedom of speech, right to vote, right to protest. There [are] still countries that have slaves because of their color, heritage, or sex. There [are] still countries that don’t do anything about sex trafficking.”
- “I teach history and I have no problem with what was written. You don’t have to stand for the Pledge if you request it in writing, but I’m sure no one who posted read their parent handbook. The posts here are just full of cursing and ignorance which is why our kids are so messed up. No critical thinking skills. Every response is all emotion with no rational arguments. If you don’t like what he said, you should ask yourself why and debate from a rational point of view. If all you have is name calling then the teacher has proved himself to be right, because you can’t cite a reason he is wrong.”
Efforts to reach Goodman for comment were unsuccessful, the Times-Union said.
Jacksonville teacher removed after scolding students who don’t stand for pledge