[FoRK] Re: flag burning...

Corinna corinna.schultz
Thu Nov 3 06:19:47 PST 2005


"Lucas Gonze" <lgonze at panix.com> wrote in message
> Hence, Kevin, the reason why having a decent respect for the pledge by 
> standing up -- even if you say nothing -- is a moot point.  You win as 
> long as the pledge of allegiance is taken seriously, which it shouldn't 
> be.

I agree, but two things:
I was purposely lax on discipline, I treated the pledge like the way I treat 
the dress code -- a rule that you're supposed to follow, but I don't 
particularly care, so I'll just prevent egregious violations (I never even 
noticed the piercings, but I did notice the low-cut shirts).

In my discussions of the issue (it would come up several times a semester), 
I'd state my personal point of view, answer questions, and reiterate that 
they needed to at least follow the form. They could always bring me a letter 
from home if they didn't want to even do that, in case an administrator 
walked in and demanded accountability (nobody ever did, I think they 
realized that it wasn't worth making an issue over it -- lots of teachers 
objected).

Once semester I had one guy append an ironic "so help me God" at the end, 
and another guy who would just replace random words, but he wasn't loud or 
anything, I think it was his own kind of rebellion. (This happened to be my 
programming class -- these guys are a bit more energetic and irreverent)

I wasn't the authoritarian kind of teacher that I remembered from my own 
high school days. I probably allowed too much freedom, and had some 
dicipline problems as a result, but I know that I made a significant impact 
on a few students who needed that kind of adult around. Plus it was the only 
meaningful accomodation I could make with my internal conflicts about 
teaching at a public school.  If you walked into my room during lunch, you'd 
see a wide range of kids - a couple of guys softly playing guitar, at least 
one "thug"-looking guy on the computer, a group playing Magic, an openly gay 
guy, at least one obviously upset girl, a couple of band students playing 
DDR on a laptop (with a couple more doing the footwork behind them!)... and 
a few ordinary kids just using the Internet.  For many of them, it was 
something of a refuge. When I announced I was quitting, a surprising number 
of them were distressed. (I never had that kind of attachment to *my* 
teachers!) 





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