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Teacher tells student he can be arrested for speaking ill of Obama

Mirror Founder

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POSTS: 327

Report this May. 20 2012, 2:39 pm

Good for her! We simply cannot have students thinking it is acceptable to criticize President Obama! In an ideal world that kid would have received a five-year jail sentence.

http://www.salisburypost.com/News/051912-


North-teacher-on-video-qcd

By Sarah Campbell

scampbell@salisburypost.com

SPENCER - After reviewing a video in which a North Rowan High School teacher tells a student he can be arrested for speaking ill of President Barack Obama, the Rowan-Salisbury School System said it can be a learning experience.

Meanwhile, an expert on politics at Catawba College says the social studies teacher just doesn't have her facts straight when she insists speaking your mind about a president can get you charged with a criminal offense.

Although two students provided the name of the teacher, the Post is not publishing it because officials within the school system would not confirm her identity and she could not be reached for comment.

The video captures audio of the dispute but does not show the teacher or anyone else. It appears to have been shot with a phone or other device as the camera pointed at the ceiling the entire time.

Rowan-Salisbury spokeswoman Rita Foil confirmed the teacher is still employed with the district and has not been suspended for disciplinary reasons. Foil emailed this statement to a Post reporter Friday on behalf of the school system:

"The Rowan-Salisbury School System expects all students and employees to be respectful in the school environment and for all teachers to maintain their professionalism in the classroom. This incident should serve as an education for all teachers to stop and reflect on their interaction with students.

"Due to personnel and student confidentiality, we cannot discuss the matter publicly."

The nearly 10-minute video, shot by a student and uploaded to YouTube on Monday, had been viewed more than 1,000 times by Friday afternoon.

It begins with a classroom conversation about a recent news story detailing Republican presidential candidate Mitt Romney allegedly bullying a classmate in prep school. It turns into a heated, sometimes confrontational debate.

One student asks, "Didn't Obama bully someone though?"

The teacher responds: "Not to my knowledge."

In response to the Romney story, conservatives have recently been pointing to a passage in Obama's book, "Dreams from My Father," in which the president writes that while in grade school he shoved a little girl, the only other black student in his grade, after other students called him her boyfriend.

When the student tells the teacher that Obama admitted to bullying a girl in school, the teacher goes on the defensive.

"Stop, no, because there is no comparison," she says. Romney, she says, is "running for president. Obama is the president."

When the student says they're both "just men," the teacher continues to argue that Romney, as a candidate for president, is not to be afforded the same respect as the president.

The teacher tells the class Obama is "due the respect that every other president is due."

"Listen, let me tell you something, you will not disrespect the president of the United States in this classroom," she says.

The student replies that he'll say what he wants.

"Not about him you won't," the teacher says.

Later in the conversation, the teacher tells the class it's criminal to slander a president.

"Do you realize that people were arrested for saying things bad about Bush?" she says of former President Bush. "Do you realize you are not supposed to slander the president?"

The student responds by saying being arrested for talking badly about the president would violate the right to free speech.

"You would have to say some pretty f'd up crap about him to be arrested," he says. "They cannot take away your right to have your opinion. ... They can't take that away unless you threaten the president."

Principal Darrel McDowell referred questions about the video to Foil.

Michael Bitzer, a political science professor at Catawba College and a widely known political analyst, weighed in on the video.

"I think what this broke down to was a perceived personal slight by an instructor against someone she sees in a positive view, and things just went out of control from there," Bitzer said in an email to the Post.

Bitzer said he thinks the teacher did go a "bit overboard in being rude towards the student."

"I think the student was also trying to pick a fight, honestly," he said.

Bitzer said it appears the teacher's attempt to make a point about showing respect for the office of the president gets overshadowed by her personal feelings for Obama.

"Her point about not being able to say anything `disrespectful' about the president does fly in the face of the First Amendment, and while she may wish to enforce that edict about `respecting' the president, the issue seems to have gotten personal on her part," Bitzer wrote.

"Granted, she apparently tried to ensure that a respectful conversation was had about the president, but she seems to have taken things a bit too personally - and it appears the student was set on making a confrontation in the guise of raising a question about `who bullied who - both Romney and Obama?' "

Referencing former president George W. Bush, Richard Nixon and Abraham Lincoln, Bitzer said the fact that there are a lot of "mean, derogatory things said about our elected officials" is part of American history.

Bitzer said he has "no idea" what the teacher is talking about when she claims people were arrested for saying bad things about Bush.

"I have never heard of anyone arrested for saying derogatory things about George W. Bush , which I am assuming she is referring to," he said. "Her belief that if one slanders the president is not very accurate - if you `threaten' the president, that is another story, and that is a criminal offense."

Searches on YouTube don't bring up the video because it is classified as unlisted.

The full link is http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=vjpWaESn_9g&feature=youtube_gdata_player

Invader_Wishfire

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Report this May. 20 2012, 3:05 pm

1. Stupid teacher.
2. At least the kid want dragged out of class by the Secret Service like what happened during the Bush administration.
3. I talk ill of Obama all three time. Where's my jail cell?

FleetAdmiral_BamBam

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Report this May. 20 2012, 3:07 pm

Love the line about not comparing Obama bullying with Mitt.....  Essentially it's okay because Obama is currenly president. 


 


Is that teacher related to DJ? 


Invader_Wishfire

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Report this May. 20 2012, 3:13 pm

In fairness, pushing someone once hardly constitutes bullying.
Also, if Romney's incident is similar, I wouldn't call that bullying, either.

DammitJim6200

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Report this May. 20 2012, 3:15 pm

Quote: FleetAdmiral_BamBam @ May. 20 2012, 3:07 pm

>

>Love the line about not comparing Obama bullying with Mitt.....  Essentially it's okay because Obama is currenly president. 

>Is that teacher related to DJ? 

>


Very funny, BamBam, clearly your Idiocy will only sink you lower, The teacher is right, the President of the United States deserve a certain amount of respect, kids must know this.

Invader_Wishfire

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Report this May. 20 2012, 3:21 pm

Respect is earned. As a result I have no respect for Obama just like I had no respect for Bush.

FleetAdmiral_BamBam

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Report this May. 20 2012, 3:22 pm

Quote: DammitJim6200 @ May. 20 2012, 3:15 pm

Quote: FleetAdmiral_BamBam @ May. 20 2012, 3:07 pm

>

>

>Love the line about not comparing Obama bullying with Mitt.....  Essentially it's okay because Obama is currenly president. 

>Is that teacher related to DJ? 

>

Very funny, BamBam, clearly your Idiocy will only sink you lower, The teacher is right, the President of the United States deserve a certain amount of respect, kids must know this.

Is that why your character disrespects Bush and others? 


shika_narks

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Report this May. 20 2012, 5:31 pm

really... I didnt know this?

leroybrock

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Report this May. 20 2012, 9:18 pm

It's not illegal to speak ill of a President. It's illegal to threaten the President's life or safety.

I think that Obama's been given a pass for pushing someone while he was little because he put it down on paper and admits it. Romney claims to not remember rounding up a gang and personally cutting the hair off of a crying restrained kid. Even Romney's accomplices in the act stated openly that the attack troubles them to this day.

I Am Ultra Narcissus.

caltrek2

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Report this May. 21 2012, 4:20 am

For all her desire to protect Obama, the teacher comes off in the opening post to this thread as an authoritarian conservative.  You remember those guys, the ones who used to call us traitors for failing to worship Herr Bush.  I guess it is only acceptable to argue that the president should be respected if that president is a Republican.  Asking for a Democrat to be respected because he is president is an exercise in futility.  Don't get me wrong, I certainly do not support abridgement of freedom of speech. As I tried to explain, that is more the way of modern day conservatives.


As Americans, we sometimes suffer from too much pluribus and not enough unum. - Arthur Schelsinger, Jr.

RStar17

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Report this May. 21 2012, 6:37 am

I just hate the accusation that if you disagree Obama, that you're racist. Guess I hate white people too, cause there are a lot of white democrats(and republicans too for that matter) I disagree with.


Invader_Wishfire

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Report this May. 21 2012, 6:46 am

You know what's funny about the whole "if you're against Obama you're racist" thing?

You will see conservatives complaining about liberals saying that a hell of a lot more than you'll see liberals actually saying that.

Invader_Wishfire

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Report this May. 21 2012, 7:07 am

Sadly, race still plays a big role in American politics. Liberals will play the race card because they think it makes them look good, and conservatives will be racist because they think the resulting scandal will draw attention to their cause. There's exceptions in both cases, of course.

Corwin8

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Report this May. 21 2012, 8:24 am

Quote: caltrek2 @ May. 21 2012, 4:20 am

>

>For all her desire to protect Obama, the teacher comes off in the opening post to this thread as an authoritarian conservative.  You remember those guys, the ones who used to call us traitors for failing to worship Herr Bush.  I guess it is only acceptable to argue that the president should be respected if that president is a Republican.  Asking for a Democrat to be respected because he is president is an exercise in futility.  Don't get me wrong, I certainly do not support abridgement of freedom of speech. As I tried to explain, that is more the way of modern day conservatives.

>


But God forbid you call this teacher what she really is. A liberal Democrat who Lurves Her Some Obama. 


Got to throw the conservatives under the bus. No President deserves the respect until they earn it. The respect is given to the Office of President, begrudgingly sometimes, but until the man in the chair earns it, they wear   the douchbag tag. GWB,BHO, WJC, all earned or failed to earn it. That's based on point of view.


Let the bridges I burn light the way. You are special, just like everybody else. Calling an illegal alien an ‘undocumented immigrant’ is like calling a drug dealer an ‘unlicensed pharmacist’

RStar17

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Report this May. 21 2012, 8:28 am

I honestly believe that teachers shouldn't be spouting their politics to their students at any level K-college. But it would seem many in the profession disagree with me.


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