By Jon Dougherty
(NationalSentinel) A Florida science teacher was told to leave his own classroom by school officials after he called out students who refused to stand for the Pledge of Allegiance.
The Florida Times-Union reported that Daniel Goodman, the teacher, wrote a lengthy diatribe on the classroom whiteboard in which he chastised students who didn’t stand for the pledge or the playing of the National Anthem.
A student’s parent, angry over Goodman’s actions, posted her complaint to Facebook.
Based on what he wrote, Gordon was attempting to use the occasion as a teachable moment in getting students to both understand and appreciate the benefits of being Americans:
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
For that, however, Gordon has been removed from the classroom while school administrators “review” the situation and discuss “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.
“I believe classrooms provide the perfect place to have insightful and thought-provoking discussions about patriotic expressions and civil liberty,” added Principal Justin Fluent, in a statement to the paper.
“However, this must be done in a productive and respectful way, and in accordance with law and school board policy.”
The paper recounted Florida’s state statute:
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.”
It wasn’t clear from the article whether the parents or guardians of students who chose not to participate had filed an appropriate written request.
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