The Confederate flag has a checkered past because at one point it was a symbol of unity for veterans and at another an emblem that reminds African Americans of the Jim Crow segregation era.
“Heritage or Hate? Different people at different times have used the Confederate flag as a symbol of both – and of other things. Trying to reduce the flag to a single meaning distorts its history and ignores the very real influence that history has had on perceptions and meanings.”
Teachers have a huge responsibility of discerning how to go about their lesson plans to guide students to make better choices.
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So, when a teacher uses words such as the Confederate flag could mean “a sticker you put on the back of your pickup truck to announce that you intend to marry your sister. Think of it like a white trash ‘Save the Date’ card” it raises a lot of eyebrows, WRDW reports.
In Georgia, a teacher at the Hephzibah High School is now on administrative leave for sharing the controversial message above in class last Monday.
The teacher intended on conveying a concept of a story in another story by using the caption in question to make the lesson more relatable.
Some parents found the lesson unsuitable and wrong. Melissa Fuller whose teenage daughter attends the school told WRDW that “A lot of [the discussion] is that it’s not morally correct.”
“It’s unethical, it’s just something you don’t want to discuss today in today’s world and especially inside of a classroom.”
Fuller got wind of the lesson from her daughter, a senior at the school after she mentioned the message to her mother and saying she found it offensive that her teacher would say that in class.
Fuller then took to Facebook post about the incident, saying she wanted to know the thoughts of other parents concerning the matter and not to get the teacher in any trouble.
The post, however, gained traction resulting in about 150 comments from other parents and the community in general, WRDW reports.
Expressing concern over why a teacher would place a Confederate flag on a whiteboard with the caption used, Melissa said, “Why was that used? With it being such a rough area, why would you put that out there to a class discussion that could have turned very ugly?”
Her teenage daughter once wore a belt with a Confederate flag buckle to school. This landed her daughter in internal suspension after she was asked to take the belt off, she told the station.
“If she can’t wear that belt buckle, then why is it appropriate to make an assignment out of it?”
The Richmond County School System have since issued a statement on the incident.
“The Richmond County School System is committed to creating a diverse, equitable learning environment for all students,” the statement said. “The language used in the example was unacceptable and has no place in our classrooms.”
The teacher was unavailable for comments when contacted by WRDW and is still on a paid administrative leave till further notice. Spanning over 150 years, the Confederate flag remains a problematic topic, especially when it comes to matters concerning modern-day racism.