Florida teacher removed after scolding students who don’t stand for pledge
A high school science teacher was removed from his classroom on the third day of school in Duval County after he wrote a statement on his whiteboard reprimanding anyone who refused to stand for either the Pledge of Allegiance or “The Star-Spangled Banner.”
“There are no longer separate water fountains and bathrooms in Jacksonville for ‘white’ and ‘colored’ as Mr. Goodman remembers from the 1960′s,” First Coast High School teacher Daniel Adam Goodman wrote across his board in black marker. “We have had a Black president, the superintendent of Duval Schools is a Black woman.”
The statement went on to name other black administrators throughout First Coast High School and Duval Schools — including the high school’s principal.
“MY POINT? You are all extremely lucky to be living in the U.S.A.,” Goodman wrote. “If you refuse to stand during the Pledge of Allegiance or our National Anthem, are you revealing your maturity and wisdom? Actually, you are displaying the opposite (as some pampered arrogant celebrities and athletes tend to do) — Mr. G.”
Goodman’s whiteboard creed was exposed Wednesday when a photo was posted on Facebook. It has since been shared over 100 times.
Parents and social media users commented on the Facebook photo expressing their lack of support for Goodman’s statement.
“Using historical trauma (which every teacher had a training on during orientation this year) to coerce students to abide to political beliefs could be argued as mental endangerment,” one said. “Kick him out,” said another. “Someone needs to have a little chat with this Florida man,” added someone else.
District personnel were made aware of the situation Wednesday afternoon.
“The statements made by the educator are not consistent with state statute or school board policy,” Duval County Public Schools said in a statement.
Florida Statute 1003.44 and Board Policy 3.60 says students are excused from reciting or standing for the pledge as long as their parent or legal guardian files a written request. The district’s code of conduct covers this as well. It says students have the right “not to participate,” which includes “reciting,” “standing and placing the right hand over [their] heart.”
Goodman’s actions have been referred to the Office of Professional Standards for “review and appropriate action,” the district said. In the meantime, the teacher has been removed from his classroom.
“I believe classrooms provide the perfect place to have insightful and thought-provoking discussions about patriotic expressions and civil liberty,” First Coast High Principal Justin Fluent said in a statement. “However, this must be done in a productive and respectful way, and in accordance with law and school board policy.”
Efforts to reach Goodman for comment were unsuccessful.
Below is Goodman’s full whiteboard statement:
“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.