Sub teacher banned after pledge

Posted by  $  kddr22 3 weeks, 2 days ago to News
30 comments | Share | Best of... | Flag

A Parkway spokeswoman told the Post-Dispatch on Thursday evening that the district would make a statement after officials had gathered more information about the incident. Kelly Educational Staffing, the agency that employs Furkin, did not immediately respond to a request for comment.

Furkin told the Post-Dispatch that in late October he was the substitute teacher for a freshman English class at Parkway South High when the school made its daily announcements over the PA system. After announcements, students are asked to stand up and say the Pledge of Allegiance.

“So I say, ‘All right, let’s go,’ and we recite the pledge,” he said. “There are always two or three who don’t stand up because it’s not required. So at the end of the pledge I said, ‘Thanks to all of you that participated in that. I’m sure that all of those families who lost loved ones so that we could enjoy the freedoms we have today would appreciate the effort.’”

Furkin said a student asked to go to the school counselor’s office, so Furkin wrote the student a pass to go. Later on, he said, a school administrator questioned Furkin about what happened and told him that a student had been “hurt” by what was said after the pledge.

“I said, ‘Oh, I didn’t mean it that way, that wasn’t my intent at all,’” Furkin said. “He said ‘We’ll get back to you,’ and then the next day after that, I’m no longer welcome in the building.”

Furkin said Kelly Educational Staffing, the agency the school district uses to book substitute teachers, told him that he wasn’t being allowed back to the school because he had “bullied” a student.

“To me personally, the flag represents freedom, and there’s a lot of price that’s been paid for the freedom we have today,” Furkin said. “That’s all I’m saying to the kids. ... Could somebody feel offended by that? I would hope not. But like I said at the (school board) meeting, when you say something, you don’t know how someone else is going to perceive it.”

After Furkin made his comments Wednesday night, Parkway School Board President Jeff Todd told Furkin that the board would communicate with him via a letter “in the near future.”

Furkin said he had been substitute teaching with Parkway for about 10 years, and for the last several years he had largely worked at Parkway South High . Teachers at the high school regularly requested him to substitute for their classes, he said.

“I worked every day,” Furkin said. “I had a really good presence in the building. I know all the teachers, and I had a pretty good relationship with the students. ... It was a wonderful place to work. I absolutely loved it.”

Furkin said that Kelly Educational Staffing representatives offered to set him up at another school but that, after this incident, he no longer wanted to work as a substitute teacher.

“If I’m being knocked out of the building, I’m just done,” he said. “’I don’t want to sub anymore, take me off your rolls. I quit. I’ve had it.’”

Parkway Substitute Teacher Jim Furkin Pledge Of Allegiance School Board Parkway South High School
Rachel Rice
Public school guide
Public school guide
Parenting newsletter
Parenting newsletter

Add Comment


All Comments Hide marked as read Mark all as read

  • Posted by  $  25n56il4 3 weeks, 2 days ago
    If that little snowflake cratered over this, he won't last long in this world. My dearly beloved father left me for three long years when he enlisted in WWII. I had forgotten him and wouldn't respond to him when he came home. After about 3 days I heard him laughing and I nearly knocked him down running at him! I am indestructible. I have lost my husband, a son, mother, father and only sibling and I'm still here and happy.
    Reply | Mark as read | Best of... | Permalink  
  • Posted by  $  Solver 3 weeks, 2 days ago
    Is the Pledge of Allegiance now considered hate speech in America? It’s almost as if students are being indoctrinated by the Ministry of Education to believe that, “freedom is slavery.”

    The offended student may be one of those activists that tapes their own mouth shut to pretend that they are not allowed to freely speak. Ironically, they always are.
    Reply | Mark as read | Best of... | Permalink  
    • Posted by ArtIficiarius 2 weeks, 6 days ago
      Maybe it is hate speech. It bears consideration. Perhaps even changes. Check out
      Reply | Mark as read | Parent | Best of... | Permalink  
      • Posted by  $  Solver 2 weeks, 6 days ago
        Why would it be hate speech? That article you cited, which suggests changes, doesn’t talk about it being hate speech at all.
        I know the words in the Pledge of Allegiance do not work for everyone. Being an atheist, I know that for sure. But it is not hate speech, unless the meaning of “hate speech” has changed radically.

        “Hate speech” does NOT mean, “speech which offends someone.”
        Reply | Mark as read | Parent | Best of... | Permalink  
        • Posted by lrshultis 2 weeks, 6 days ago
          I remember that when I was in grade school and the pledge, which I had been repeating, was changed to a religious pledge, I still was required to stand but I no longer said it. I do not participate in socialist, pretend patriotism. Look up how the pledge was started in the USA with its NAZI type raised hand salute, which was changed to a hand over the heart. The same group that thought up the pledge also ended in having a flag in each school room. None of that was considered necessary until a socialist minister thought that Americans were not patriotic enough. Patriotism is an individual belief that things a working out well in one's country and that one may choose to work to keep it that way. There is no reason for government to be anything other than a good government for the people to have patriotism.
          Am I not patriotic, when in court I say 'no' to the religious oath and get stared down by others and the clerk of courts has to leave to find where they put the secular oath which actually indicates that one will be punished, while alive, for a lie rather than being punish by some supernatural non being.
          Reply | Mark as read | Parent | Best of... | Permalink  
          • Posted by LibertyBelle 2 weeks, 5 days ago
            I do not see that the government had any right to insert "under God" into the Pledge.--How does the secular oath you mentioned go?
            I understand that the alternative of affirmation was brought in for religious people who thought that taking an oath in God's name was taking the Lord's name in vain.
            Reply | Mark as read | Parent | Best of... | Permalink  
            • Posted by lrshultis 2 weeks, 5 days ago
              It has been about twenty years since I was a witness and later a juror. Wisconsin has rewritten the statutes, supposedly to simplify them, and the secular oath has been reworded from what I remember. The "pains and penalties of perjury" was "Being mindful of the pains of perjury ..." was at the beginning of the oath and the oath a little shorter.
              Here is the current Wisconsin secular oath:
              "Do you solemnly, sincerely and truly declare and affirm that the testimony you shall give in this matter shall be the truth, the whole truth and nothing but the truth; and this you do under the pains and penalties of perjury".

              When I said "no" to the religious oath the first time as a witness, I was a witness for a neighbor under the understanding from the defense attorney that I would get the secular oath. That did not happen, though the attorney was apologetic when I had to say "No" and tell the judge that I was to have had a secular oath. In the two times I said "no", the clerk of courts had to leave to find the secular oath. It appeared that the courts considered everyone religious or want to not rock the boat. I got the advise from a religious woman whom I worked for that I should have just said "yes" because the oath is just a tradition and has no meaning. As a juror, I heard about what I had done from from another juror who was in a bible discussion with another juror.
              I wonder what happens to someone who refuses to take an oath?
              Reply | Mark as read | Parent | Best of... | Permalink  
  • Posted by chad 2 weeks, 6 days ago
    I pledge allegiance to the principles of liberty and objectivity. This country does not live by the standards of the constitution which is the contract that binds the government and specifically prohibits the looting of the individuals.
    However someone who decides to be offended and then think they have the right to complain and forcefully direct my employment I no longer would want to participate with that organization.
    Reply | Mark as read | Best of... | Permalink  
  • Posted by BCRinFremont 3 weeks ago
    One person sits. Another sits and another. The first complains and is supported. More sit..... I am reminded of the bar scenes in Cabaret wherein the Nazi presence in the crowd grows and grows as the play progresses. Auf Wiedersehen.
    Reply | Mark as read | Best of... | Permalink  
  • Posted by LibertyBelle 2 weeks, 5 days ago
    I think that the school did that teacher very wrong. But it would have been wiser for him to take the offer to be set up at another school. (And who knows, if enough of a stink was raised, he might eventually get to go back to the one he was used to).
    Reply | Mark as read | Best of... | Permalink  
  • Posted by freedomforall 3 weeks, 2 days ago
    I wish I had read Ayn Rand in high school. Then I might have refused to pledge my allegiance to a government that loots all its people, passes legislation that enslaves them, and does not prosecute those who murder innocent people while "just following orders."

    I love my country, but I am an individual, and I do not pledge my allegiance to anyone or any government, especially a government that pledges to protect the rights of individuals as written in the constitution and breaks that pledge every minute of its existence.
    Reply | Mark as read | Best of... | Permalink  
    • Posted by BCRinFremont 3 weeks ago
      Freedom for all. You do not pledge yourself to the looters or the government. You pledge allegiance “to the flag” and “to the Republic for which it stands.”
      Reply | Mark as read | Parent | Best of... | Permalink  
      • Posted by freedomforall 3 weeks ago
        But it means I am consenting to be a subject of the government. That is not the status of We, the People, under the constitution. I am not subject of or servant to government. Government is supposed to be servant of the People.
        The pledge has only been a tool of government since 1942. Earlier governments did not require the People to pledge themselves as servants to government. I do not consent to be enslaved. Most people today assume that the pledge is a sign of their patriotism and love of country. That is not the case. It is no coincidence that such a pledge was not required until WW2 when the state became all powerful and started to repeatedly ignore the rights of the People.
        Most people don't realize the pledge was written by a socialist. We have been conditioned for decades to consent in the pledge and most people don't even think about the real meaning of it.
        The very words of the pledge violate the basics of liberty set out in the Declaration of Independence:
        "When in the Course of human events, it becomes necessary for one people to dissolve the political bands which have connected them with another, and to assume among the powers of the earth, the separate and equal station to which the Laws of Nature and of Nature's God entitle them, a decent respect to the opinions of mankind requires that they should declare the causes which impel them to the separation."
        Reply | Mark as read | Parent | Best of... | Permalink  
        • Posted by freedomforall 3 weeks ago
          More from the Declaration of Independence that is denied by the pledge:
          "when a long train of abuses and usurpations, pursuing invariably the same Object evinces a design to reduce them under absolute Despotism, it is their right, it is their duty, to throw off such Government, and to provide new Guards for their future security."
          Reply | Mark as read | Parent | Best of... | Permalink  
      • Posted by Steven-Wells 2 weeks, 6 days ago
        I swear fealty to a piece of cloth and the clown-car of fools who mismanage most of it. Perhaps I don't. Maybe I'd offer my respect for the republic that the Founding Fathers envisioned.

        But, I'd sit quietly, understand the positive expression the teacher offered in respect for fallen defenders, and go on with the day's lessons.
        If adults supposedly running a school let the tantrums of a little yapping child define classroom policy, it's not the teacher who should be driven out. It's the management and the little whelp.
        Reply | Mark as read | Parent | Best of... | Permalink  


  • Comment hidden. Undo