Right Opinion

Teacher Removed From Classroom After Defending Pledge of Allegiance

Todd Starnes · Aug. 20, 2019

No one stood for the Pledge of Allegiance on the first day of Daniel Goodman’s class at First Coast High School in Jacksonville, Florida. And no one stood on the second day of class.

So on the third day, Mr. Goodman wrote a message to his students on the whiteboard rebuking them for disrespecting the pledge.

“There are no longer separate water fountains and bathrooms in Jacksonville for ‘white’ and ‘colored’ as Mr. Goodman remembers from the 1960’s,” the science teacher wrote. “We have had a Black president, the superintendent of Duval Schools is a Black woman.”

“MY POINT? You are all extremely lucky to be living in the U.S.A.,” he continued. “If you refuse to stand during the Pledge of Allegiance or our National Anthem, are you revealing your maturity and wisdom? Actually, you are displaying the opposite (as some pampered arrogant celebrities and athletes tend to do) — Mr. G.”

Instead of thanking Mr. Goodman for setting the record straight and dropping some knowledge on the children, school leaders removed him from the classroom.

“I believe classrooms provide the perfect place to have insightful and thought-provoking discussions about patriotic expressions and civil liberty,” First Coast High Principal Justin Fluent said in a statement to the newspaper. “However, this must be done in a productive and respectful way, and in accordance with law and school board policy.”

Parents were infuriated that Mr. Goodman would dare encourage young people to show some respect for the nation. They accused the teacher of being insulting and demeaning.

“What makes the teacher feel like this is appropriate? We are LUCKY to have basic rights and to be treated humane? Why should our kids be met with this type of attitude at school? I can’t wait until the teacher is held responsible for their reckless banter cause it’s coming! I hope none of the students stand up for the Pledge of Allegiance in protest of the teacher,” one parent wrote on Facebook.

“Using historical trauma (which every teacher had a training on during orientation this year) to coerce students to abide to political beliefs could be argued as mental endangerment,” one said. “Kick him out,” another parent told the newspaper. “Someone needs to have a little chat with this Florida man,” added someone else.

The school district confirmed to Action News Jax that the teacher has been removed from the classroom “pending a review” of the matter.

“The message included historical references including slavery, the right for women to vote and the election of a black president. It also referenced the fact that the superintendent of the school district is black. It was implied in the statement that students who fail to stand for the Pledge of Allegiance lack maturity,” DCPS said in a news release to the television station.

I’ll take Mr. Goodman’s message one step further. Not only did the children show an incredible lack of maturity, so did the parents and the school district.

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