Educator’s borderline inappropriate actions face harsh repercussions

Scott Redmond, Connection Staff

A professor from Florida Atlantic University was placed on administrative leave on the very same day that a high school teacher from South Carolina finally resigned from a position the district wanted to fire him from.

The university professor asked students in class to stomp on the word “Jesus” while the high school teacher stomped on the American flag three times in one day for different classes, to teach the idea that it was just a symbolic piece of cloth.

At first glance, many would assume these are issues of freedom of speech, the time tested right given to citizens by the Constitution. There might be such a case, but that is not the argument here.

Arguing over the idea of such freedoms is an argument as old as the Constitution and there are few new points.

There is a greater argument that calls for an idea that seems to be forgotten in this day and age, your speech might be free but there are always consequences.

Whether they had the right to express whatever idea they were trying to express with their actions is irrelevant. They had that right, but for every action there are reactions.

In a digital age that encourages people to say anything that pops into their mind at any moment, the idea of accountability has slipped away.

An old adage about the freedom of speech speaks about not yelling fire in a crowded theater. Clearly the reason for this is that there are consequences for yelling such a thing. It might be your right to say it, but the consequences that come from it could be dangerous.

While they didn’t deserve to lose their jobs, they should have thought of the backlash of their stunts. When one rocks the boat, they face the chance of it tipping over.

Their actions brought a backlash that involved death threats and accusations brought down upon the institutions they worked for. In the case of the Florida professor, racially motivated slurs were also levied.

Death threats, racial slurs and hurling insults at the schools they worked for or the men themselves is deplorable. Yet in the age that we live in, rational people know that once something that is seen as unsavory in the eyes of the public gets out, the flood of anger begins.

“Be careful what you say and do” is advise that needs to be followed in all walks of life. There are actions that right away are known to cause controversy.

Standing up for what one feels is right has been beneficial to society in the long run as many that stood up over time have brought great change to the world.

One thing that they all had in common was that they were prepared for the consequences that came from those actions. That has been forgotten this time.

Speak and act freely, but remember there are always consequences, whether positive or negative, that will ensue.

For every action there is an opposite and equal reaction.