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PARALLEL UNIVERSE: Colorado Has Become the New California; Flag Flap in Denver Suburb Nails It

Posted by kinchendavid on August 24, 2006

By David M. Kinchen

Editor, Huntington News Network


Hinton, WV     The headline jumped out as me as I was scanning the Scripps Howard News Service budget for stories to post on Huntington News Network: ‘Geography Teacher Suspended Over Foreign Flags in Classroom.’

I looked for the dateline, expecting it to be some crazoid Politically Correct California city like Berkeley or Santa Cruz, when to my surprise it turned out to be Lakewood, Colorado, a suburb of Denver with about 150,000 residents.

Here’s the link to the story: http://www.huntingtonnews.net/national/060824-shns-teacher.html

According to the reporter: “The teacher, Eric Hamlin, said the flags of
China, Mexico and the United Nations were relevant to the unit on the fundamentals of geography he teaches during the first six weeks of the semester at Carmody Middle School.  Hamlin said principal John Schalk escorted him from the building before classes began. He was handed a letter saying the matter is under investigation and warning him to remain off school property. He was suspended with pay.  Public schools spokeswoman Lynn Setzer said Schalk believed Hamlin was in violation of a state law on display of foreign flags on public property.”

And here’s my comment: What an idiotic law and, with apologies to Dorothy Parker who coined the question that should be our national motto: “What Fresh Hell is This?”

At a time when U.S. students rank near the bottom of any list of students who “Don’t know much about geography,” A teacher like Hamlim should be rewarded and honored, not escorted off school property like a criminal. My “World Almanac” has several pages of the flags in the world in full color and I enjoy looking at them. I loved geography in elementary and high school and had great teachers – like Hamlin – who encouraged me to explore the subject on my own. With idiots like Ward Churchill at the University of Colorado and the ones running the Lakewood school district, Colorado can proudly say: “Yes, we are the new California.”





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