Skip to main content

I got contacted this afternoon and asked if I wanted to appear for a discussion about the SC teacher who stomped on the flag.

If you go to Huffington Post Live the segment is called "Stomping on the Flag"

the other participants besides the host were a reporter from SC who is covering the story, an English teacher from NYC, and a Gulf War veteran from WV.

The segment lasts about 29 minutes.

I enjoyed myself a great deal.

If you don't know what I look or sound like, you will find out.

Will be interested if anyone takes the time and has any feedback.


Your Email has been sent.
You must add at least one tag to this diary before publishing it.

Add keywords that describe this diary. Separate multiple keywords with commas.
Tagging tips - Search For Tags - Browse For Tags


More Tagging tips:

A tag is a way to search for this diary. If someone is searching for "Barack Obama," is this a diary they'd be trying to find?

Use a person's full name, without any title. Senator Obama may become President Obama, and Michelle Obama might run for office.

If your diary covers an election or elected official, use election tags, which are generally the state abbreviation followed by the office. CA-01 is the first district House seat. CA-Sen covers both senate races. NY-GOV covers the New York governor's race.

Tags do not compound: that is, "education reform" is a completely different tag from "education". A tag like "reform" alone is probably not meaningful.

Consider if one or more of these tags fits your diary: Civil Rights, Community, Congress, Culture, Economy, Education, Elections, Energy, Environment, Health Care, International, Labor, Law, Media, Meta, National Security, Science, Transportation, or White House. If your diary is specific to a state, consider adding the state (California, Texas, etc). Keep in mind, though, that there are many wonderful and important diaries that don't fit in any of these tags. Don't worry if yours doesn't.

You can add a private note to this diary when hotlisting it:
Are you sure you want to remove this diary from your hotlist?
Are you sure you want to remove your recommendation? You can only recommend a diary once, so you will not be able to re-recommend it afterwards.
Rescue this diary, and add a note:
Are you sure you want to remove this diary from Rescue?
Choose where to republish this diary. The diary will be added to the queue for that group. Publish it from the queue to make it appear.

You must be a member of a group to use this feature.

Add a quick update to your diary without changing the diary itself:
Are you sure you want to remove this diary?
(The diary will be removed from the site and returned to your drafts for further editing.)
(The diary will be removed.)
Are you sure you want to save these changes to the published diary?

Comment Preferences

  •  Tip Jar (31+ / 0-)

    "We didn't set out to save the world; we set out to wonder how other people are doing and to reflect on how our actions affect other people's hearts." - Pema Chodron

    by teacherken on Thu Jan 17, 2013 at 05:58:09 PM PST

  •  oh and btw (17+ / 0-)

    the producers really liked me, and one told me that they had a lot of viewers telling them to bring me back.  We'll see.

    "We didn't set out to save the world; we set out to wonder how other people are doing and to reflect on how our actions affect other people's hearts." - Pema Chodron

    by teacherken on Thu Jan 17, 2013 at 05:58:54 PM PST

  •  Guy showed poor judgement (7+ / 0-)

    I mean I did a fair number of outrageous things in my career but I would not do this.  First of all, beyond SC being a very conservative state, his school district is close to Fort Jackson and it is very likely many of his students had relatives who were serving or who had served in the military.  Second is a dirty little secret dating back to GWB's decision to use the NG instead of reinstating a draft.  Also mixed in was the No Net Loss whereby people trying to cycle out of the NG were prevented from doing so.

    Presently fewer than 1% of the general population is serving in the military but more of those serving pull multiple tours overseas.  Just from personal experience, I checked locally to see how many men from the community died in VN vs the number who have died in our latest wars of choice and found that more have died in our latest wars.  This is a different experience from majority US.

    Just saying that, in an area around a military base, you are much more likely to have active and retired military who would take a much more militant view towards defacing the flag.  you are also more likely to have kids whose parents have friends or family who are MIA, KIA or WIA in action and a teacher has to be sensitive to kids who have had this experience  

    •  but consider this (8+ / 0-)

      he has done this lesson for a number of years.  If what he is doing was so wrong, justifying firing him, should not the administrators be fired for failing to properly supervise him?

      I think it may be poor judgment because it is too much in your face

      he could have made the same point by showing video of protestors burning the American flag and then reading the texts of the opinions in Texas v Johnson

      "We didn't set out to save the world; we set out to wonder how other people are doing and to reflect on how our actions affect other people's hearts." - Pema Chodron

      by teacherken on Thu Jan 17, 2013 at 06:48:38 PM PST

      [ Parent ]

      •  I guess it comes down to you have to (0+ / 0-)

        know the area.  In previous years, maybe no one in his classes had actually suffered a personal loss so it did not strike home so immediately whereby this year, perhaps it did strike home particularly hard.

        We have to remember that we never know everything in a student's life and should be sensitive to things that could occur in their lives.  However, I would never presume to lecture you on teaching; I am trying to articulate some things I felt I learned in the profession and perhaps lack the skill to articulate these points clearly

  •  An Editorial Cartoon from the Pre-Progressive Era (11+ / 0-)

    In this cartoon Uncle Sam is walking the plank due to big business (the pirates) taking over America. The American flag is being stomped on and replaced with the flag of these "trusts."

    The caption reads "One sees his finish unless good government retakes the ship."  The cartoon portrays the illustrator's fear of America's future, and the power that the trusts truly held during this era. link

    •  thanks Randy (5+ / 0-)

      I am on radio on an occasional basis.  I have been a once a month or so guest on one commercial program in Charlottesville and a program on WTJU (UVA"S student station) arranged to tape an interview with me for use on a program on MOnday when I was going to be teaching.

      I have a few times been on Fairfax Community TV.

      And I did go through the pundit training at the first Yearly Kos, in part because given my gray hair and beard they wanted the press talking to me to see that bloggers were not all 20 somethings

      "We didn't set out to save the world; we set out to wonder how other people are doing and to reflect on how our actions affect other people's hearts." - Pema Chodron

      by teacherken on Thu Jan 17, 2013 at 07:00:09 PM PST

      [ Parent ]

  •  I just went to the Huffpost live (3+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    teacherken, Lujane, glorificus

    and went thru the live -> earlier setup.

    You are most certainly correct.  It is now up to the local school board to see if he violated his contract.  I would bet though that his lesson plans (approved by the school) did include this and has for several years.

    Good information.

    "Death is the winner in any war." - Nightwish/Imaginareum/Song of myself.

    by doingbusinessas on Thu Jan 17, 2013 at 07:00:18 PM PST

    •  Unfortunately, a lot of uninformed people (5+ / 0-)

      won't get the distinction of a free speech issue vs. a contract issue, and the media bobbleheads won't do any better (either on purpose or because they're bobbleheads).

      So, if he IS fired for contract violation, there will be many who confuse the issue and talk about how free speech doesn't cover stomping on/burning/etc. the flag.

      If only they cared as much about what's really happening to the people of this country as they do about the symbols.

      Because I never saw a hungry flag.

      "I think in America, the opposite of poverty is justice." Bryan Stevenson

      by gfre on Thu Jan 17, 2013 at 07:20:06 PM PST

      [ Parent ]

  •  This was the top story (of course) on Fox Nation (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:

    one day. Well you can imagine their glee.

    Electing people who don't believe in government to Congress, is like installing an atheist as pastor of a church. If they don't believe in the institution or its goals, they won't care if it does a good job for its members.

    by Lefty Coaster on Thu Jan 17, 2013 at 08:48:57 PM PST

    •  bet they didnt make an issue (2+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      Lujane, glorificus

      of teacher who made nasty comments about Democrats and got herself fired for her effort

      "We didn't set out to save the world; we set out to wonder how other people are doing and to reflect on how our actions affect other people's hearts." - Pema Chodron

      by teacherken on Thu Jan 17, 2013 at 08:52:17 PM PST

      [ Parent ]

    •  It's opposite day (0+ / 0-)

      I wonder if the headline was the opposite of what the story said, as it was in this article.   A study demonstrated that the drop in IQ in kids who smoke pot could be explained by correponding socioeconomic factors rather than a direct biological effect of smoking pot.   Other stories ran headlines like "Pot may not cause lower IQ", but FOX's headline ran "Pot does lower IQ", and then proceeding with an article explaining that maybe it is poverty that causes a lower IQ.

      Faux.  Aren't they grand?  

  •  I was actually afraid to, (4+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Lujane, glorificus, teacherken, jardin32

    but now I just saw your picture.  Never saw that before.  The spell is broken.  Weird.

    I was going to post that your writing is so powerful that its voice has always been quite compelling.  I was afraid to put a real face and sound to it.  

    Funny, it took quite some time to stop seeing, and hearing in my head, "Teach Erkin" when I read your diaries.  You were just a moniker.  Then it suddenly clicked, "Teacher Ken", of course!  

    Seriously, I'm talking like four or five years before I noticed it.  Astonishing how the mind works.  

    Well, anyway, you became a real person, but you still had the same voice.  Now, I just saw your picture and you are officially an actual human being, so I'm off to see the show.

    "'re going to find that many of the truths we cling to depend greatly on our own point of view." Obi-Wan Kenobi

    by thepook on Thu Jan 17, 2013 at 09:53:17 PM PST

  •  Let's start with a link that gives more detail (0+ / 0-)

    It appears Compton did this 3 times in December and hasn't been doing it for years.

    I have a problem with his behavior. I applaud his effort to illustrate the difference between a symbol and an idea. He went off the track when he used the flag for a training aid. Symbols do have value and such cavalier treatment of the flag doesn't qualify as protected political speech.

    I think he's likely to lose his job and will have failed at his stated intent. The message will be that the school board values the symbol over freedom of speech unless the board is very nuanced in their public statements.

    Others have simply gotten old. I prefer to think I've been tempered by time.

    by Just Bob on Fri Jan 18, 2013 at 12:17:39 AM PST

  •  Impressive, Ken. (0+ / 0-)

    Hope your wife is feeling better, and the media spotlight has lifted your spirits!

    **Your beliefs don't make you a better person, your behavior does** h/t Clytemnestra/Victoria Jackson

    by glorificus on Fri Jan 18, 2013 at 12:36:35 AM PST

    •  it's nice to have one's voice amplified (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:

      but it is the the end-all and be-all of my existence

      what is happening with my beloved spouse is far more important

      there is improvement, but it is very slow

      we will know more after next visit to doctor, on Tuesday morning

      she still needs me to take her, even though it is only a couple of blocks away.

      Between the holiday/inauguration on Monday and my own dental appointment on the half-day for Friday, I will only see my students for two days next week, which is NOT good.

      "We didn't set out to save the world; we set out to wonder how other people are doing and to reflect on how our actions affect other people's hearts." - Pema Chodron

      by teacherken on Fri Jan 18, 2013 at 02:32:09 AM PST

      [ Parent ]

    •  oh, and thanks for both (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:

      your kinds words and your concern about my spouse

      "We didn't set out to save the world; we set out to wonder how other people are doing and to reflect on how our actions affect other people's hearts." - Pema Chodron

      by teacherken on Fri Jan 18, 2013 at 02:32:33 AM PST

      [ Parent ]

  •  Great spot, Ken (0+ / 0-)

    Congrats.  Nice job.

    I hope this teacher can work something out with the school.  I'm grateful he's trying to teach critical thought, and regret that our nation is so radically opposed to the concept.   This is not a case about free speech, though.  It's about what taxpayers are paying teachers to teach their kids.    I would gladly pay a teacher to teach this lesson.    

    I never understand why something like this has to rise to the level of a firing.   What happened to simply speaking the employee and giving guidance on what is expected in the future?

    I am reminded of an incident in which a Christian child in Pakistan was accused of burning pages of the Koran, a crime which has the death penalty.   Imagine, valuing a scrap of paper higher than the life of a child!   I very much appreciate a teacher who tries to explain that the scrap of paper is not God, and no one tried to burn God.   The flag is not our country, and no, the teacher was not grinding our country under his heel.    His heel is not big enough, even if he wanted to.  It makes me sad that people want to kill a child, or fire a teacher, over a scrap of cloth or paper.   It's sad that his lesson that objects are not more important than people, fell on such deaf ears.

    I have long since become tired of worshipping our icons, but not what they represent.  I no longer say the Pledge of Allegiance, since it has been modified to be for religious persons only, and no longer includes me.   Besides, when I am basically ordered to recite it on cue, I never feel that it is truly coming from my own heart.   I feel more like a performing monkey.    I have never been fond of the musical qualities of our national anthem, and am sick to death of suffering through the butchering of that squalling calf every Nascar race and ball game.   I love my country, but I hate that song.   And, I still don't understand why people are so proud to display a grotesquely tortured man with nails drive through his hands, and blood dripping down, over the dinner table.    Each to his own icon, I guess.

    As far as flag stomping goes, I think John Prine said it best --  "Your Flag Decal Won't Get You Into Heaven, Anymore".  

    Best wishes to this brave teacher.    If this doesn't work out, I hope he can find someone who actually appreciates his work.   It's a shame, though, because he's clearly needed where he is.

Subscribe or Donate to support Daily Kos.

Click here for the mobile view of the site