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DeSwiss Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Aug-24-06 09:43 PM
Original message
Geography Teacher Suspended - Displayed Foreign Flags In Class
Edited on Fri Aug-25-06 05:19 AM by newyawker99
Teacher Showing Foreign Flags Put On Leave
Jeffco leaders say the state bans the banners, even in geography class, when they are not part of the lesson.
By Karen Rouse
Denver Post Staff Writer

A seventh-grade geography teacher who refused to remove Chinese, Mexican and United Nations flags from his classroom was placed on paid administrative leave Wednesday by Jefferson County officials who were concerned that the display violates the law.

District officials said state law forbids the display of foreign flags unless they are temporary and related to the curriculum.

Carmody Middle School principal John Schalk looked at the curriculum for Eric Hamlin's world geography class "and there was nothing ... related to any of these countries," said Lynn Setzer, district spokeswoman.

She said Schalk asked the teacher three times to remove the flags and warned there would be consequences, but Hamlin refused.

Hamlin, in his first year at Carmody, said he regularly displays flags from different countries, rotating them out based on countries being studied.

He said that the first six weeks of school are devoted to discussing the "fundamentals of geography" and that the flags were randomly selected.


More at link:

http://www.denverpost.com/news/ci_4228017


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MichiganVote Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Aug-24-06 09:47 PM
Response to Original message
1. When are we going to stop treating teachers like slaves?
There are respectful ways of handling items such as this, regardless of the eventual outcome.
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civildisoBDence Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Aug-24-06 09:47 PM
Response to Original message
2. Let's get rid of the maps and globes, too
If there are nothing but maps of America in our classrooms, we can RULE THE WORLD.

News and commentary, left to right
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MichiganVote Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Aug-24-06 09:48 PM
Response to Reply #2
3. No kidding.
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MadMaddie Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Aug-24-06 09:48 PM
Response to Original message
4. So is this Nazi Germany yet...only the colors of the Fuherer must be
displayed...?

This is ridiculous....
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Kutjara Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Aug-24-06 09:50 PM
Response to Original message
5. Gee, I wonder why our kids can't...
...find Canada or Mexico on a map. Just keep them in the dark, pretend America is the only country that exists, and raise another generation of McMorons who placidly graze on Primetime TV and Domino's Pizza.
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Kagemusha Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Aug-24-06 09:53 PM
Response to Original message
6. On a previous thread a DU'er posted the actual law in question
Edited on Thu Aug-24-06 09:56 PM by Kagemusha
That was:

http://www.democraticunderground.com/discuss/duboard.ph...

But I'm editing my post because on re-reading the article here, there's a claim that the principal looked into it and the flags had nothing to do with SPECIFIC COUNTRIES being studied, even though global geography involves the study of at least basic things about ALL COUNTRIES in theory - the flags had been selected at random. That they were selected at random doesn't mean they had no relevance to a geography class.

What a stupid, narrow reading of the law.
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walldude Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Aug-24-06 09:53 PM
Response to Original message
7. Here's a previous thread on this:
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LA lady Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Aug-24-06 09:56 PM
Response to Original message
8. Already reinstated
http://www.summitdaily.com/article/20060824/NEWS/108240...

DENVER - A geography teacher suspended with pay for displaying foreign flags in his middle school classroom will be allowed to return to work Friday with permission to put the flags back up - but only when they are relevant to instruction.

Eric Hamlin was suspended Wednesday from his job at Carmody Middle School in suburban LakewoodAt the time, he had put up the United Nations, Mexican and Chinese flags in class.

He was suspended specifically for refusing to remove the flags, though he later did. Colorado law specifies that foreign flags may be flown while they are being studied.
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Kagemusha Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Aug-24-06 09:59 PM
Response to Reply #8
9. That's a lie, the law doesn't say "while they are being studied"
See my post above and the link to a post re; the actual law. From which I paste this:

(IV) The display of any flag or representation thereof described in subsection (1) of this section that is part of a temporary display of any instructional or historical materials not permanently affixed or attached to any part of the buildings or grounds described in subsection (1) of this section.

See? ANY instructional or historical materials. Doesn't specify "while they are being studied". That's the principal's spin. Guess the reporter didn't read the damned law either.
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Atman Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Aug-24-06 10:10 PM
Response to Original message
10. When I was a kid, teachers actually made us DRAW flags of other countries!
They thought it kind of made sense to know stuff, y'know?

YIKES! I just realized I've got a life of crime behind me!
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colorado thinker Donating Member (676 posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Aug-24-06 10:14 PM
Response to Original message
11. The sad thing is
that once Jefferson County schools were some of the best in the country. I'm a product of Jefferson County, I still live in it, and I was taught how to think critically, question authority, and speak out when I thought things needed to be said. We had an underground newspaper in high school, that was critical of the school administration and the presidential administration (Nixon, now you know how old I am) and while it wasn't supported by the admin, neither was it banned.

The times they are a changing . . . for the worse. I'm writing a letter to the school board tonight.
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Bucky Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Aug-24-06 10:25 PM
Response to Original message
12. Why does, um, geography hate America? No wait, I mean....
Why does education hate America?
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upi402 Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Aug-24-06 11:46 PM
Response to Reply #12
14. LOL, sammich bags hate 'merica too!
dang :patriot:
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Lisa Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Aug-24-06 11:41 PM
Response to Original message
13. okay. I'm a geography instructor, and I've ordered a copy ...
... of the DVD "China Rises" for our department ... and I'm going to pay for a second copy out of my own pocket to send to the Carmody Middle School library, care of Mr. Hamlin. If he and the other teachers are showing videos about China, it will be difficult for administrators to claim that the Chinese flag isn't relevant to the curriculum.

And how does the UN flag relate to the issue of illegal immigration? I'm baffled by that. And my boss, who works for the UN, will probably be surprised too. We just completed a report about China, which I wouldn't have been able to pull together in less than a week if not for the many teachers I've had, who've talked about Asia and socio-environmental issues in general, whether or not they were on the curriculum.
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DeSwiss Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Aug-25-06 01:49 AM
Response to Original message
15. The underlying premise of this law...
... seems to be to avoid controversy and relevant issues by pretending there are none. An attempt to cloak the symbols of those problems. And to direct education along narrow nationalistic tracks, which hamper the learning process and limits understanding of the greater world these students must somehow learn how to live in. But the whole point of education, IMHO, should be to challenge the mind in such a way as to allow students to learn how to think critically. Using ALL accumulated knowledge, and thereby hopefully making them better able to address the problems their generation will face.

Yet in the absence of the all the factual information available. The symbols, and the language which serve as the conveyances of that information, we handicap the student's learning process. They can't learn to think "outside the box," if there is no "outside the box."

Education is meant to be about all things -- everything in our world students can absorb. To teach with blinders, just gives us students with a limited insight and a narrow view of the world. And considering where the adults are now taking that world, I think that they'll need all the help and information they can get.

We can't :hide: from the world.....

~DeSwiss
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