Video Shows North Carolina Teacher Screaming At Student That He Can Be Arrested For Criticizing Obama

We have another video raising questions over the rules relating to free speech for students in high school. This video (below) was taken in North Rowan High School in North Carolina where a teacher screams at a student that he can be arrested for disrespecting President Obama. The teacher went ballistic after a student responded to the account of Mitt Romney bullying a student as a teen by noting that President Obama admitted that he had bullied a student in his youth. [Update: the teacher has been suspended pending investigation].

In my view, the class seemed unruly and the students were combative with the teacher. However, the teacher seemed equally unruly and more importantly misstated the law on comments about the president. Notably, the student was right on both the law and the facts on bullying.

After the student notes that Obama admitted to bullying a girl, the teacher screams “Do you realize that people were arrested for saying things bad about Bush?” She tells the student and the class that “you are not supposed to slander the president.” The student correctly states that you can only be arrested for threatening the president, but the teacher will hear none of it. She insists that it is ok to call Romney a bully but not Obama because the former is running for president while the latter is president. Accordingly, under the teacher’s rather mutated view of civics and constitutional law, “there is no comparison.”

The teacher sounds increasingly unhinged and screams that the men are not “equal” and adds “Let me tell you something … you will not disrespect the president of the United States in this classroom.”

What concerns me is how such misinformation is conveyed to students who shape their views of basic liberties in our public schools. I feel it is appropriate for teachers in high school to lead discussions about politics, which can obviously get partisan and unruly. I also believe that it is important for the teachers to enforce civility rules. However, alleging that the President or Romney was a bully is not uncivil. It is a contemporary issue in the presidential election. It happens to be an excellent issue to raise in class to show that bullying can cause not just immediate but later problems for students. It also allows for a discussion how relevant such bullying is to the question of character to lead the nation. The key is to control the discussion while getting the law and facts right.

Source: Salisbury as first seen on Reddit.

69 thoughts on “Video Shows North Carolina Teacher Screaming At Student That He Can Be Arrested For Criticizing Obama”

  1. Public schools have become tantamount to child abuse! We need VOUCHERS NOW if we can find any politicians with BACKBONES!! This teacher needs her license pulled, and not allowed in a school again — WITH OR WITHOUT UNION PERMISSION!

  2. Oh, yes. And she’s a social studies teacher!! Guess she’s the underdog for good reason.

  3. I really wanted to provide support for the teacher who is the underdog in the comments here. She doesn’t want students to be disrespectful about the President. This is a good intention but in the process she disrespects the first amendment and she doesn’t differentiate between the man and the office, a distinction that seems to be understood by the students.

    It’s too bad she didn’t direct the discussion in a positive way.

    The kids wanted to talk about bullying as reported in the news about both Romney and Obama. Great topic.

    Another kid introduces the newly reported Mayan calendar. Another possible topic. But I think he was trying to diffuse the situation.

    Best candidate for teacher in the room is the kid wanting to talk about bullying.

    And it’s too bad that the best example of bullying was what the teacher did to him.

  4. Answer:::I hope the teacher, you can go to jail for what, “freedom of speach”
    The kid should get a medal for not loosing it. The teacher is definitly a moron and not only should loose her job she should be water boarded until she gives up who the other teachers are that think this is east germany and a blick savior has arrived. This president could be green and a citizen of Mars -no one would care if he was a good president, but he’s ranks up there with one of the worst.He is also anti-american–hey teacher where are the cuffs i want a break from working so hard for so little not like this cival servant.

  5. The teacher was black and for gay rights. The student was a white christian Romney supporter. Guess who got suspended?

  6. And I didn’t say the teacher “knew” she had a valid point, simply that she did have one. The child’s comments, even though factual, could be considered a form of protest since he was pointing out a negative aspect of the highest official of all, Obama.

  7. Actually, this teacher might have a point. According to a recent article on Slate,
    See here

    In post-Occupy America, it’s often hard to know whether new citizen protest laws signal the end of free speech or a mere tweak of the machine. That looks to be the case with the new anti-protest bill that passed the House of Representatives overwhelmingly two weeks ago and was signed into law by the president soon thereafter. On its face, the new legislation doesn’t change a whole lot. Yet the Occupy protesters are in an uproar that the bill both targets them and also signals a radical shift in free speech law. Almost nobody else seems to have noticed it at all.

    The Alexander Higgens Blog puts it even more succinctly:
    Goodbye, First Amendment: ‘Trespass Bill’ will make protest illegal

    Just when you thought the government couldn’t ruin the First Amendment any further: The House of Representatives approved a bill on Monday that outlaws protests in instances where some government officials are nearby, whether or not you even know it.[emphasis mine]

    Link to the article here

    Thanks to a law signed by Obama, the teacher, no matter how bent out of shape she might be, actually hasa valid point. They are in a public building and do not know whether or not some government officials might or might not be around.

  8. Glen Greenwald points out how Obama choose John Brennen, a former Bush member of the CIA who advocated for practices of torture, as his chief counter-terrorism adviser and how he has just been promoted by Obama to being the central figure on who decides who gets assassinated by Obama’s historically unique power over anyone anytime anywhere on planet earth with no judicial review.

    When little children get killed in these excursions, Brennen incurs no penalty, in case anyone was worried (about Brennen, that is).

    The power to kill little children as “oops-es” on mere suspicion of some target without even making public any rules whatsoever about how such decisions are made. Man, that would be a nasty abuse of the constitution, or at least the Bill Of Rights, if Obama were a Republican. I wonder how Mitt will top it for sheer villainy? (other than by simply being a Republican, that is).

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