Join the Meeting Place for Moms!
Talk to other moms, share advice, and have fun!

(minimum 6 characters)

local school teacher steps on flag in front of students

Posted by on Sep. 14, 2011 at 2:07 PM
  • 9 Replies

 

Respect for the American flag was the message the American Legion Riders and others hoped to stress to students at Circle High School Monday afternoon.

The Legion Riders, along with members of the American Veterans Motorcycle Club and Christian Motorcycle Association, staged a patriot rally at the high school after a story came out about CHS U.S. government and history teacher Jennifer McKinsey taking her American flag from the wall and putting it on the ground, then stepping on during her class last week while they were discussing free speech rights. This is something she had done in her class for eight years.

Once the veterans saw the story, they knew they had to do something.

"We didn't want to wait any longer," said Sam Langhofer, Andover American Legion Post 406 commander, said. "We're not here to protest anybody or shame anybody from what they feel is correct.
We are here to show the other side and what the flag means to us.

"We want them to grow up and know many, many people respect the flag and what it means to veterans and their families," he continued. "The American flag means so much to us. To me, the flag represents the guys I knew in Vietnam who sacrificed their lives."

Sixty flags were held by veterans and community members who turned out.

Brenda Loyd, from the Kirwin American Legion Auxiliary, was among those in attendance. She had been visiting her sister in Wichita when she heard about it and wanted to show her support.

"I had a husband and two sons who served in the military," she said. "Kids need to understand if they go into the military they will need the same caring and support when they come out."

Also attending was El Dorado Post 81 member James Shaults.

"I believe that our flag stands for freedom," he said. "It should never be trampled on."

He acknowledged that the law allowed for such actions but believed that law should be repealed.

"There are entirely too many people who have given their lives for that flag," Shaults said. "Even though it's (standing on the flag) a right, that doesn't make it right."

He hoped the teacher also had explained to the students what the flag stands for.

"They don't stomp on the flag," agreed Past District 5 Legion Commander Bob McChesney from Goddard. "Freedom of speech is freedom of speech, but there are some things that are just not morally right."

He had two tours in Vietnam, so he said he was very proud of the flag.

Some community members also joined the group and were given flags to hold. Among them was Micky and Ryan McCune and their two children, Anaya, 10, and Sophia, 7.

Micky is the daughter of a veteran and part of an extremely patriotic family.

"You just have to show respect for the flag," she said.

"You should respect the flag and freedom is very good," agreed Anaya. "I'm very proud of my grandpa
and grandma for being veterans."

"I'm happy for my grandpa and I'm glad that he's doing this, and I hope I can learn something," said Sophia.

Micky's father, Dick Weston, a member of the American Veterans Motorcycle Club, started the organization of the rally.

Before school released for the day, the veterans lined the sidewalk around the front door with flags, prepared to talk to any of the youth who had questions about the flag or why they were there.

To let the students know what they were doing one Vietnam veteran, Dakota, made an announcement over the intercom to the students before school was out.

He told the students, "A few of my friends have joined us today with the purpose and mission to help in your education of respect for the American flag. Waiting outside the school entrance are military veterans both male and female. These people have served this country and honored our flag with dignity and bravery all around the world. Many have suffered the effects of combat. We ask that you take a few moments to visit with these military veterans about their sacrifices and what it means to honor the flag."

He encouraged the students to talk with the veterans, ask them questions and listen to their stories.

"Your true beliefs are based upon your own conclusions," he told the students. "As you become better educated may you come to new conclusions that alter some of your beliefs. Give yourself that opportunity today."

As the students exited the school several of them stopped to shake the veterans' hands and talk to them, as well as thank them for their service.

One group of students included two students from McKinsey's class.

One student said McKinsey was not being disrespectful to the flag. She also pointed out the teacher had the right to do what she did.

The Legion Rider she was talking with agreed she did have the right, but that didn't mean it was morally right.

"The lesson was nothing to do with that, it was just a visual to help us understand," the student said.

Another student said with or without the flag we are still a country.

A student also said she did not understand why people don't get upset about other instances of desecrating the flag, including writing on it.

"I understand what the flag stands for but I don't think it's the piece of material that is our country," another student said.

They were told that the flag is a symbol of the country and should be respected. It was explained that they don't just cheer on a football team, but the Thunderbirds specifically and that is how the flag represents the country.

Students also were told about why the flag was important to the veterans and proper ways to handle it and dispose of it.

CHS Principal Todd Dreifort did not return a phone call this afternoon about the incident last week or today's rally.

*******

This is crazy I just dont get why pple are throwing such a big deal about this now. She was my American History teacher when I was in High school she did the same thing then and no one freaked out. What she is doing is demonstrating freedom of speech, yes it sometimes offend pple but it is our right. She also goes and proceeds this lesson the with proper way to treat the flag and dispose, and what the flag stands for. She is the best teacher there at Circle, her lessons are freaking AWESOME, she is the only person I know that can have a discussion about hot topics and never once show what side she is on. She gives the facts on both sides of the debate and then allows you to make the final discussion on what is right. its just sad such a great teacher is getting such bad press

by on Sep. 14, 2011 at 2:07 PM
Add your quick reply below:
You must be a member to reply to this post.
Replies (1-9):
sexymomma_88
by Gold Member on Sep. 14, 2011 at 2:22 PM

BUMP!

usmc.momma
by on Sep. 14, 2011 at 2:31 PM
I personally think it is wrong to use that particular form if freedom of speech. It's extremely disrespectful. If she had been my teacher I would have walked out if her class. A true patriotic American should never do that to the flag. No matter what point they are attempting I make.
Posted on CafeMom Mobile
xtwistedxlovex
by on Sep. 14, 2011 at 2:36 PM

She could just as easily TELL her students that she has the freedom to step on the flag without actually doing it. IMO disrespecting the flag totally negates teaching kids how to respect it - why should they when the person teaching them doesn't? As the article points out, having the legal right to do something doesn't mean it's morally right. I really don't care about the flag and still I would NEVER disrespect it because I know how much it means to many people.

Tell me, would you burn a bible just because you can? Would you expect Christians not to be upset if you did just because "you were demonstrating that you had the right"?

alwayskk
by on Sep. 14, 2011 at 2:38 PM


Quoting usmc.momma:

I personally think it is wrong to use that particular form if freedom of speech. It's extremely disrespectful. If she had been my teacher I would have walked out if her class. A true patriotic American should never do that to the flag. No matter what point they are attempting I make.

I disagree with you.

I think too many people confused patriotism and nationalism.

A nationalist would never do that to the flag.

A patriot is loyal to their country, not the symbols that represent their country.

A 'true patriotic American' would support someone else's rights to step on the flag, even if they disagreed with the sentiment.

GreenEyePixie
by Ruby Member on Sep. 14, 2011 at 2:41 PM

I understand that point she is making about freedom to choose and freedom of speech. She does have the right to step on the flag. BUT there are many ways to go about teaching freedom of speech. She didn't have to step on the flag to get her point across. 

I agree with the article just because it is legally right doen't make it morally right.

persuasion91297
by on Sep. 14, 2011 at 2:45 PM
I find it direspectful, but she did nothing wrong. Teachers that make the most impact will be the most memorable.
Aamy
by on Sep. 14, 2011 at 2:54 PM
Sorry but she is wrong to do that to the flag. As a former military member yes I respect the flag. In fact I helped a couple of tounge kids at publix fold the flag because they where going to ball it up. The teacher should know better. Had I been in her class I would of walked out. Even in high school I had respect for our flag, seeing my dad serve in the military. Same reason I almost hit a kid once when he mocked my father in his uniform. It's about respect.
Posted on CafeMom Mobile
Aamy
by on Sep. 14, 2011 at 2:56 PM
Same way the Muslims and other ppl got pissed off when that man threatened to burn the quran, he did it to anger them. Stepping on a symbol that means a lot to many Americans will anger them as well.

Quoting xtwistedxlovex:

She could just as easily TELL her students that she has the freedom to step on the flag without actually doing it. IMO disrespecting the flag totally negates teaching kids how to respect it - why should they when the person teaching them doesn't? As the article points out, having the legal right to do something doesn't mean it's morally right. I really don't care about the flag and still I would NEVER disrespect it because I know how much it means to many people.


Tell me, would you burn a bible just because you can? Would you expect Christians not to be upset if you did just because "you were demonstrating that you had the right"?

Posted on CafeMom Mobile
teddysmom08
by on Sep. 14, 2011 at 3:34 PM

"Teachers" like this are why my son is homeschooled!

 

Add your quick reply below:
You must be a member to reply to this post.
Join the Meeting Place for Moms!
Talk to other moms, share advice, and have fun!

(minimum 6 characters)