Sunday, August 27, 2006

Flags....they can cost you big time!

The Education Wonks, recovering from what must have to be a collective, severe and recent head injury (given the inanity of their recent post) sheds light on a recent happening in Colorado with middle school history teacher Eric Hamlin here.

A few comments and questions from my perspective:
  1. You automatically assume that Hamlin was insubordinate simply because the administration told him to do something. That operates on the principle that whatever comes out of an administrator's mouth is correct, infallible and legal. This is a dangerous assumption-- administrators are people and make mistakes, as seen in this situation. Just because they're the boss in the situation doesn't mean they're right. Ultimately it's the people that elected their bosses on the board who are in control, unfortunately most of the electorate just doesn't realize it.
  2. Does this teacher have an "Academic Freedom" clause in his contract? (For those of you who say "Huh?" when you hear the term, it basically means that teachers are able to use their abilities within the general standards of professional responsibility to teach their kids.)
  3. You asked the question was he insubordinate? My answer is no, as the administrator's directive was clearly outside of the bounds of the law. For example, if your boss tells you to shoot his secretary and threatens to fire you if you don't comply, you don't have to shoot his secretary. Then you can go back and sue him for wrongful termination. Heh.
  4. You mentioned that the "race card" was played in this column. I strongly disagree, as the composition of who is being taught is just as important as what is being taught-- this is a real issue, not something that was fluffed up for the paper.
  5. Why should an administrator be concerned of whether or not a flag is up that shouldn't be? Isn't there something that the administrator could be doing that is more time-effective and beneficial to the community than creating a ruckus about a couple of potentially illegal flags? I would be VERY interested to see how much this entire debacle has cost the district in terms of administrative, teacher and substitute time-- and I'd love to see a dollar value placed on it.
  6. Finally, I'm not familiar with Colorado labor laws, but where's his union standing up for him?

This is one of those situations where you've gotta pick your battles.

The ball is in your court, Education Wonks.

1 comment:

EdWonk said...

Interesting points.

Please see our response here.


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