People are speaking out after a high school teacher berated students who did not stand up for the Pledge of Allegiance and national anthem.
Daniel Adam Goodman, a teacher at First Coast High School in Duval County, Fla. penned an “inappropriate” message on his class whiteboard Wednesday morning.
His full message reads: “THINK: We had about a half million Americans die in our Civil War, which was largely to get rid of slavery. There are no longer separate water fountains and bathrooms in Jacksonville for “white” and “colored,” as Mr. Goodman remembers from the 1960′s. We had an amendment to the U.S. Constitution allowing women the right to vote. We have had a Black president. The superintendent of Duval Schools is a Black woman. Mr. Fluent, our principal, replaced a Black man, Mr. Simmons, who now is a D.C.P.S. administrator. MY POINT? You are all extremely lucky to be living in the U.S.A. If you refuse to stand during the Pledge of Allegiance or our National Anthem (AS SOME PAMPERED ARROGANT CELEBRITIES AND ATHLETES TEND TO DO), are you revealing maturity and wisdom? Actually, you are displaying the opposite. -Mr. G.”
Many people were unhappy with his note. One woman, Kandice Clark, shared a photo of the whiteboard on Facebook yesterday, questioning why Goodman thought it was 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!” Clark wrote. “I hope none of the students stand up for the Pledge of Allegiance in protest of the teacher.”
People spoke out in the comments section on the Facebook post, some sharing that the teacher’s message feels targeted against female and black students.
“I stand for the flag out of respect for those who have sacrificed their lives and still are. However you won't MAKE me or my children do anything we don't feel comfortable doing,” one parent wrote, “This message is clearly a message for black students for the most part and then he took a little jab at females. We are lucky? No you're lucky that they removed you from the classroom before you had the right one sir. Goodbye!”
Another affirmed this opinion and wrote: “It's inappropriate. He directed this toward a certain group of people and it's obvious. He might as well have written dear black people and females. As a teacher you don't make the learning environment uncomfortable like this and you don't go on a power trip telling people what they ought to do when they have a legal right not to do it.”
According to the school district, the teacher’s statement may be in violation of both state law and school board policy.
“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,” a spokesperson for the district tells Yahoo Lifestyle. “It was implied in the statement that students who fail to stand for the Pledge of Allegiance lack maturity.”
The spokesperson clarified that students in Florida can choose whether or not to participate in the pledge, which is indicated in their code of student conduct, Florida Statute 1003 and board policy.
“Students have the right not to participate in reciting the pledge. Upon written request by his or her parent, a student must be excused from reciting the pledge, including standing and placing the right hand over his or her heart,” the district confirms.
Goodman has been removed from his classroom pending a review of the incident by the district’s Office of Professional Standards.
Kandice Clark did not immediately respond to Yahoo Lifestyle’s request for comment.
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