Well, now you’ve heard it all.
A 70-year-old middle school teacher in California (of course)
was fired suddenly decided to retire after the school district disciplined him for hanging a Confederate flag next to a Union flag in preparation for the day’s Civil War lesson.
The Folsom Cordova Unified School District released the following statement about the teacher, Woody Hart:
We recognize that regardless of context, to many of our students, families, and staff, the Confederate flag is a racist symbol of hate. 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. It is our schools’ responsibility to provide a safe learning environment for all children.
Shortly after the statement’s release, district members announced Mr. Hart’s "retirement:"
According to HeatStreet, controversy has surrounded this teacher before:
Last year, Hart dealt with a similar controversy about being racially insensitive when a family complained about how he made “an inappropriate lynching analogy” during a history lesson. Per the complaint, Hart said “When you hang one black person, you have to hang them all. That is equality.”
He made the statement in context of Southerners who were required by law to treat individuals from outside their states the same way they treated their own black residents. In the investigation, Hart told school administrators that Southerners would often reply with glib remarks about “equality” when other Americans took them to task over racial discrimination.
In addition to the parents who lodged the complaint, the Sacramento chapter of the social justice organization, Showing Up for Racial Justice, demanded a public apology from Hart.
The district assures that it isn’t interested in stifling the free speech of its teachers but expects them to “do this work using culturally appropriate strategies.” In other words, never mention actual American history.