In a discussion about the role of the teacher, I imagine most teachers might agree on the following:
1) Our job is to teach children to think. To think critically armed with pertinent information and to develop the ability to arrive at their own conclusions.
2) Our job is to teach children to care. About themselves, their classmates, their community and their country.
3) Our job is to teach children to become future citizens who understand their rights and responsibilities in a democratic nation.
4) Our job is to teach children to act on their convictions, as long as such action does no physical or mental harm to others.
So yesterday, when a child in Texas chose not to stand during the Pledge of Allegiance because he felt that
a) we as a country were not living up to the Pledge and not supporting (or arresting or murdering) those who are actually working toward “liberty and justice for all.”
b) it was his right to politely decline mouthing an oath of allegiance to a system that wasn’t working and had nothing directly to do with his education,
it seems to me that his teachers would not only accept his decision, but actively praise him for fulfilling all four of those goals above. And then choose to use his action as a springboard to deeper discussion that the whole class could benefit from. And that’s exactly what happened.
In my dreams.
No, the teachers threatened to expel him, insulted him publicly, approved of his classmate’s harassment and now the child’s family is suing the school. Ain’t America great.