Florida teacher removed after viral whiteboard rant against students who don't stand for the pledge


  • Photo via Kandice Knecole Clark / Facebook
A now-viral Facebook post from a Jacksonville classroom shows a teacher's whiteboard rant against students who do not stand during the pledge.

The message, from First Coast High School teacher Daniel Goodman, quickly made the rounds on social media. Once word reached school officials, he was removed from the classroom pending a review, according to Duval County Public Schools.

The post implies that students who don't stand are immature and urges students to be grateful that they live in the United States. Part of the whiteboard message seems to take the racism-is-solved-so-you-have-nothing-to-be-mad-about approach.

“There are no longer separate water fountains and bathrooms in Jacksonville for ‘white’ and ‘colored’ as Mr. Goodman remembers from the 1960′s,” Goodman wrote. “We have had a Black president, the superintendent of Duval Schools is a Black woman.”
Then, he reaches his conclusion in prime, five-paragraph essay form:

“MY POINT? You are all extremely lucky to be living in the U.S.A.,” Goodman continued. “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).
The district found out Wednesday, according to an emailed statement, and the school referred the situation to the Office of Professional Standards for review.

The statement says Goodman was "admonishing students who did not stand for the Pledge of Allegiance or National Anthem."

"The statements made by the educator may be in violation of state law and school board policy," the district added.

Goodman has been removed while the probe decides whether his message violated laws.

As listed in the Florida statutes, "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."

First Coast High School Principal Justin Fluent released an emailed statement on the incident, citing the importance of respectful discourse.

“I believe classrooms provide the perfect place to have insightful and thought-provoking discussions about patriotic expressions and civil liberty,” Fluent said. “However, this must be done in a productive and respectful way, and in accordance with law and school board policy.”

Before we get distracted, let's step back and remember the whole point of why people aren't standing. It is not because they hate the United States. One more time for the folks in the back: It's not because they hate this country.

This all started back in August 2016 when then-San Francisco 49er Colin Kaepernick took a knee during the pledge. It was a form of protest against the oppression of black and brown people, in a more specific sense looking at the ongoing issues involving police brutality and shootings of unarmed African Americans that started the Black Lives Matter movement.

"I’m not anti-American. I love America. I love people. That’s why I’m doing this. I want to help make America better," Kaepernick told media at the time. "I think having these conversations helps everybody have a better understanding of where everybody is coming from.”

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