A 70-year-old history teacher in Folsom, California, has been forced into early retirement after hanging a Confederate flag in his classroom.
The middle school teacher, Woody Hart, was teaching the history of the Civil War to his students. For illustrative purposes, Hart displayed both the Confederate battle flag and the Union flag.
Many students and parents immediately questioned Hart’s judgment, including his employer.
The school district released a public statement questioning Woody Hart, the teacher’s motives:
“We recognize that regardless of context, to many of our students, families, and staff, the Confederate flag is a racist symbol of hate,” the statement reads. “Although this matter is under investigation, it is important to reiterate: Any employee who is found to engage in behavior that creates an unsafe environment for students will face full consequences, including the possibility of initiating termination proceedings.”
In this case, the flag — which was found across the room from a Civil War Union flag, potentially in preparation of a history activity — was removed from the classroom before school began today,” the statement continues. “It is our schools’ responsibility to provide a safe learning environment for all children.”
Apparently, Hart has a history of being accused of racist or inappropriate teaching methods.
In 2016, Hart made an “inappropriate lynching analogy” to his class. The complaint claims Hart said, “[W]hen you hang one black person, you have to hang them all. That is equality.”
After the most recent incident made national waves, Hart entered early retirement. Still, several social justice organizations are demanding that Hart apologizes for his teaching tactics and behavior.
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