Kansas teacher's critical thinking class on flag desecration includes flag desecration
The Teacher's idiotic response is noteworthy. I'll parse it here. First, sayeth our Venerable Educator:
On September 2, 2011 in my American Government class, I did the same lesson plan that I have done each semester for the past few years. We discussed the case United States v. Eichman, 1990 by looking at both the arguments for the government and the arguments for Eichman. Since the question to be decided by the courts was whether or not Eichman had violated the Flag Protection Act of 1989 which prohibits anyone who “knowingly mutilates, defaces, physically defiles, burns, maintains on the floor or ground, or tramples upon” a U.S. flag, I gave students two examples of what would be illegal under that law. First, I dropped my flag that I had purchased with my own money upon the floor. Then I stepped on my flag to show them what “physically defiles” would mean.
Am I really to understand that this teacher is discussing Supreme Court precedent with a group of students who are unable on their own to decipher what "tramples" means without show and tell? Um, really? Here's a partial list of things I would suggest she consider teaching:
- Child Soldiers in Africa: load the students down with sacks of sugar, and make them walk through the woods all day.
- Illegal Immigration: can be run in connection with gym class.
- Abortion: some of these kids may want to be premed, best to start them early.
I really have a hard time believing that her students are so ignorant that they couldn't figure out these concepts on their own.
We then looked at both sides of the debate and the court’s ruling, while I moved around the room. We talked about what the flag stands for and whether it’s the cloth that is important or the freedom for which it stands. We talked about how our military has fought and died for our freedom. We talked about how what is offensive to someone varies from person to person. We talked about how public opinion doesn’t mean that we ban something. We talked about how since the court had struck down both state and federal law, the only way to ban flag burning now would be the passage of a Constitutional amendment, which has been tried, but failed numerous times.
I can't help but wonder if there were other things included in this class. For instance, based on what I am reading here, this teacher is perfectly comfortable with "hate words" being used in class right? After all, there is no objective "offensiveness" and thus, pretty much anything should do, right? I mean, throw out the prevailing local standard, and just go with, "whatever you want is cool with me. " Presumably also this teacher advocates teaching about the Great Spaghetti Monster as part of a theology class as well, since Public Opinion shouldn't be used to ban something.
She then says one of the stupidest things I ever read on this subject, the same asinine argument that comes up literally every time:
We even saw a picture of President Bush doing the very thing I had just done, standing on a flag that was stitched onto a floor rug.
Usually the argument falls along the Flag Napkin, Flag Shirt, Flag Boxers etc line of thinking. But seriously, does anyone in the world think that someone took a flag, and then stitched it (affixed it) to a rug? No, that is not a flag lady, it is a rug. The difference between a flag and a rug is obvious to a 4 year old, but is apparently too illusive for her to divine. Let me help you out: a flag is something that can be affixed to a pole. If the item in question can not be affixed to a pole, it is not flag. A napkin for instance, yes, one might use a nail gun and hitch it up to a 2x4, but when was the last time you saw that? Likewise, how many times have you walked by the Post Office, and looked up to see a shirt dangling from the pole? I'm going to guess zero.
There are many things that one can do legally that are just idiotic. (LIstening to Lady GaGa leaps to mind.) Just because you *can* do something doesn't mean that you *should* do something, and certainly not that you should be showing minors how to do them. If this lady can't teach critical thinking without stepping on the flag, maybe she should be searching for a new occupation.