Janet's Conner

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Monday, August 28, 2006

Education: JEFFCO DISCIPLINES TEACHER OVER FOREIGN FLAGS IN THE CLASSROOM

Lakewood---A seventh-grade geography teacher at Carmody Middle School was suspended with pay today when he refused to take down three foreign flags on display in his classroom.

Rocky Mountain News
By: Berny Morson
August 23, 2006

Eric Hamlin said the flags of China, Mexico and the United Nations were relevant to the unit of the fundamentals of geography he teaches during the first 6 weeks of the semester. He's used the same display for most of the nine years he's taught in Jefferson Country, Hamlin said.

The foreign flags are in addition to the standard U.S. flag found in all classrooms.

Hamlin said principal John Schalk escorted him from the building before classes began. He was handed a letter saying the matter is under investigation and warning him to remain off school property.

Jeffco Public Schools spokewoman Lynn Setzer believed Hamlin was in violation of a state law on display of foreign flags on public property.

Schalk interprets the law as allowing foreign flags as part of a specific lesson, but not for the duration of the six-week unit.

Hamlin has more than 50 flags that he uses during the course of the year. He asks students to consider the symbolism different countries put on their flags, such as the stars and stripes on the U.S. flag.

***What is this administration doing to this country? Do we now have to remove the pages in our schoolbooks that show flags of a foreign country? Will we have to burn those books altogether? This teacher has been using the same system for almost 9 years in that same school. What brought about the changes? Don't think that the U.S. government doesn't have anything to do with state government either! Just because you have a Democratic Goevernor, that doesn't mean that you still don't have Republican Senators and Congresspeople. Yet, you still have a lot of Republican operatives working in Democrats offices.

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