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School Gadsden flag incident only the latest example of teacher ineptitude


You’ve likely seen the news this past week about the Colorado middle school student who was tossed from class for having a Gadsden flag patch on his backpack. The Revolutionary-era flag has a rattlesnake on it and the phrase “Don’t Tread On Me.”

According to Britannica, the flag’s origins lie with U.S. Naval Commodore Esek Hopkins with the snake a symbol of colonial unity. But the encyclopedia also notes that around 2009 “some people started to associate [the flag] with racism” because the Tea Party sometimes made use of it. Which is ridiculous because the Tea Party wasn’t racist. It just happened to oppose some Barack Obama administration policies.

Some geniuses at the Vanguard School seemingly took this idiocy at face value and demanded young Jaiden Rodriguez (pictured) remove the Gadsden patch: “We do not want the flag is to due to its origins with slavery and slave trade,” the boy and his mother were told.

The school eventually backed off and reversed course, allowing Jaden to keep the patch on his backpack. Colorado Governor Jared Polis even chimed in to say “I think it’s great when kids express themselves in different ways as long as they’re not creating a disruptive environment, certainly the Gadsden flag is a great iconic American flag, other kids have LGBT flags, others have flags of major political parties.”

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The only things Jaiden “disrupted” were the delicate sensibilities of a few progressive educrats.

But Jaiden’s situation is far from out-of-the-ordinary. Recall the elementary-level music teacher who thinks she’s so brave for teaching the “true” story of Thanksgiving and a lesson on “gender norms.” And the Canadian teacher who ripped her Muslim students for not wanting to participate in gay pride activities. And the cat ears-wearing school board member who declared the employment of Christian teachers is “not safe.”

And don’t forget:

— the Muslim school board member who wanted teachers screened for “Islamophobia.”

— the Virginia teachers union opposes teaching about the victims of communism.

— the Florida teacher who made white students act as servants for black students during Black History Month.

— the Washington State principal who threatened a teacher for wearing a “MAGA” hat to an inservice.

— the teacher in Texas who told a class not to use the term “pedophile” but “minor attracted persons.”

— the Oregon teachers who claimed that rolling one’s eyes is a form of white supremacy.

— the nation’s largest teachers union, the National Education Association, wanted social media companies to censor posts critical of, ironically, critical race theory.

— the Michigan teacher who told parents to leave teachers alone because they would never consider telling a surgeon what to do.

— the California teacher who bragged about having her class pledge allegiance to the gay pride flag.

And this just scratches the surface. But by all means — let’s have a cow about a 12-year-old with a patriotic backpack patch. Always remember: Self-righteous teachers are not gods. It’s YOUR job to remind them.

Editor’s note: The article has been corrected to note the school is not a Hillsdale member or curriculum school and does not otherwise have a license to use Hillsdale’s curriculum. 

MORE: Teacher suspended for wearing Trump face mask on anniversary of George Floyd’s death

IMAGE: Juanita Broaddrick/Twitter

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About the Author
Associate Editor
Dave has been writing about education, politics, and entertainment for over 20 years, including a stint at the popular media bias site Newsbusters. He is a retired educator with over 25 years of service and is a member of the National Association of Scholars. Dave holds undergraduate and graduate degrees from the University of Delaware.