Monday, June 14, 2010

Fox News Poll: Ban Old Glory in U.S. Public Schools?

Just in case you haven’t heard yet, Fox News has a poll... "Should the Flag Be Banned at Schools?”, Organizing for America, and SEIU have been twittering today to go to Fox Poll and vote to ban the Flag... and right now it is working.

Navigate to the Fox website to cast your (nay) vote:
Should the American Flag Be Banned -- in America?
Just another helpful public service announcement from your old pal Rudi, (thanks to a tip from yet another sharp-eyed WCF Reader.)

And what about it folks?  Is it possible that proponents of a flag ban are really serious about such a measure, or can we chalk this up as just another Faux News red-herring?


Curmudgeon said...

Sorry, Rudi, but I went to the Move On link you provided, and I didn't see anything there about the poll.


America Veteran said...

The other points being made on the Faux News site are really scary. Watch the Arkansas bit and it keeps showing a gun, and then telling the viewers to start the armies. When these right wing nuts actually cause violence who will be held accountable.

You can be angry and want change without violence.

Another wants you listen to Glem Beck for free, give me a break he doesn't do anything for free except cry on que.

I do want the flag in every class, and the pledge of allengence too.

Curmudgeon said...

Trying to figure out what the hell this broohaha was about, I think I found it. Three schools, one in California and two in Colorado, temporarily banned students bringing flags of any nation to school as tensions between Hispanic students and non-Hispanics escalated recently following walk-outs to protest Arizona's new immigration law. Apparently students were waving Mexican and American flags in each others faces, etc. and school officials temporarily banned wearing flag clothing [any nation] or students bringing flags to school with them. School officials in the three schools were concerned, they said, about fighting breaking out. You can read the story here

NO school banned flags from the classroom, though you will not learn that from the hyperventilated posts going up from right wing groups screeching "do you want the American flag banned from classrooms" etc. No school has done that. No one has proposed removing American flags from the classrooms in American schools. Three schools banned students from bringing flags of any nation in, or wearing them, temporarily.

Whether those were sound decisions is, of course, debatable. Not knowing how volatile the situation had become in the schools involved, it's hard to say. Generally, the SC has ruled, rightly, that schools cannot arbitrarily ban student free speech [carrying flags or wearing them would come under that heading] so long as doing so did not disrupt teaching at the school or endanger people. Clearly the school administrators in the three schools thought those conditions existed and so the temporary ban was justified.

We can debate that, and probably should. But we need to avoid letting the shrill hysteria now coming from extremists on the right claiming "the American flag has been banned from schools!" frame the discussion.

Curmudgeon said...

By the way, Rudi, your headline perpetuates the false claim that what's at issue is an attempt to "ban Old Glory in US Public Schools." I know of no one who has proposed that in any state, or any district in any state, nor in any school for that matter, and the flag was not banned from classroom or flagpole display, so far as I know, in the three schools involved. The ban [temporary] only applied to national flags [all of them] from being brought to school by students, and only for such time as heightened racial tensions among students created, in the officials' judgment, a potentially risky situation for students.

RudiZink said...

Sorry Curm, but the headline DOES accurately preface the story.

Let me take a wild guess... you're in favor of banning US flags on tee-shirts, skirts, anywhere in the classroom, etc., right? And maybe more???

I don't mean to put words in your mouth, but that's what I'm getting from you so far.

Happily you're not yet in favor of banning the US flag from school flagpoles, I guess, no?

I tremble to contemplate how you voted in the Fox News Poll.

This is America, Curm; and in my view all American students (and every other person of particular national origin)should have the liberty to let their "freak flag" fly, without interfence from school boards and other "anti-democracy" "controlling types."

And what do you have to say about this, "Mr. Yellow Dog Democrat?"

Torque said...

reads the headline. They are not saying you mom IS a fat skank, they are just asking questions that viewers want answered.

Later, their opinion folk declare: people are asking whether... ad nauseum.

Give me a break. Using a question as a headline/lead for a story is wrong.

RudiZink said...

Your Victorian Era, anal view of modern headline composition has been duly noted and rejected, "Torque"

Here's a good blog article on the subject

Write this down so you don't forget it, Torque:

Nothing redirects people’s thinking better than a well-phrased question.

Got it?

What works, works, Torque.

Howbout a nice journalistic enema for you?

Curmudgeon said...


I know the headline was accurate in re: the poll. My problem was, Fox headlined its poll in a deceptive way, which deceptive headline you reproduced. The three schools did not "ban the flag in classrooms" so far as I know. So turning the poll into a referendum on that was deceptive. As, I think, Fox intended to be.

As for me, if you read my post, you noted the "rightly" regarding the SC decision that schools may not limit student free speech rights [including flag-wearing].

So how you concluded I'm "in favor of banning US flags on tee-shirts, skirts, anywhere in the classroom, etc., right? And maybe more??? --- escapes me.

I'm a card-carrying ACLU member, recall, and that organization has a long history of going to bat for student free speech rights --- including in the recent case in which a school banned students from wearing American flag gear on Cinqo de Mayo.

The incident that triggered the bogus Fox poll involved, again, three schools in which administrators worried that heightened racial tensions could lead to fights between bands of students in the school, and so they temporarily banned not "flags in the classrooms," but students bringing flags to the school. May have been the right call. I can't debate that until I know more about just how volatile the situation was, about whether their concern was reasonable. But officials did not, as Fox's headline suggests, "ban flags in the classroom."

You wrote: This is America, Curm; and in my view all American students (and every other person of particular national origin)should have the liberty to let their "freak flag" fly, without interfence from school boards and other "anti-democracy" "controlling types."

Americans do have that right, Rudi. It's guaranteed them in the First Amendment. But the Supreme has always recognized that free speech rights are not absolute. That there are some circumstances in which your speech can be curbed for the public good. The most famous example, I guess, is the court noting that the First Amendment does not protect your right to shout "Fire!" in a crowded theater. All courts generally recognize such "time, place and manner" restrictions on the exercise of First Amendment rights. Two such are, in re: student first amendment rights, that they cannot be used to disrupt the school's business of teaching, and they cannot be exercised in such a way to create a danger to people in the school.

So unless you want to argue that you are protected in your right to shout "Fire!" in a crowded theater, or that students are protected in their right to disrupt classrooms by chanting, say, political slogans in math class, you and I agree that students have exactly the free speech rights you say you want to defend.

The administrators on the ground made the call that banning students bringing flags to school [not "flags in the classroom"] was a prudent temporary step to avoid confrontations they believed could get violent. I don't know if that was a reasonable call, but the administrators who made it were the guys on the ground charged with keeping students safe. If it turns out it was an arbitrary and unjustified decision, I'm sure someone will have them in court over it, and rightly so.

But to try to ignite outrage over their call by claiming what they did was "ban flags in the classroom" is dishonest demagoguery. But then, that's what Fox News does best.

PS: You can stop worrying about how I voted on the Fox Poll. I didn't vote in it. Bogus polls generally don't interest me much.]

John Prine said...

Your flag decal won't get you into heaven anymore.

torquemada said...

Although our long-suffering BlogFuhrer might have a legitimate point as regards headlines on newsblogs where opinion and news mosh side by side, we think the ever-rascible J. Stewart hits closer to home as regards Fox Infonewsmercials, to wit:

The Interrogative as Headline

RudiZink said...

You're obviously missing the point of this blog, Lord Torqemada. Unlike most blogs, wherein the the blogmeister or blogger team try to hold themselves out as know-it-all experts on any subject they post about, that's not the journalistic/business model we follow on Weber County Forum at all.

Here at WCF, your ever humble blogmeister posts a short summation of the (assumed) facts, a little quick off-the cuff analysis and THEN asks a few questions (Socratic Method anyone?) ultimately throwing the discussion out to our WCF readers for their own input. As we've said so many times before... our gentle readers are the real experts on this blog. We wouldn't be the #1 Utah political blog without them.

In truth... Every article title we post here could justifiably be followed by a question mark. The object here is to elicit ever-savvy reader comments and is not to indoctrinate our readers with your blogmeister's own decidedly cranky personal political philosophy.

Creative place, the World Wide Blogoshere is indeed... a place where journalistic shiboliths are regularly skewered.

Here at WCF, we re-invent journalism on a day-to-day basis.

I've often joked privately with WCF regulars that we could fall back to posting a daily weather report; and that due to the reader friendly atmosphere and smart readership here @ WCF, on most occasions we'd wind up at the end of the day with yet another remarkable discussion of the important events of the day.

Nope. WCF is not your blogmeister's ego-driven soapbox. It's much more like the corner bar, neighborhood coffee shop or beauty shop, where regular folks gather to discuss politics and blow off steam at their own pace and style.

And yes... Ending a blog post title with a question mark is exactly what the doctor ordered for a place like Weber County Forum.

Yes indeed. I'm making a mental note to myself right now:

"Remember to enclose more article titles with question mark notation"

Any other questions, Lord Torqemada?


David S. said...

Comment bumped to front page

AWM said...

RudiZink...I'll dove tail in on your reply to Torquemada and ad that I'm still waiting for the "WCF Militia" T-shirts and hoodies to go on sale...Get on it man!

Fox News lies!!! said...

More Americans would rather have FOX NEWS banned then the flags in schools!!!!

fox news lies said...

More Americans would rather have FOX NEWS banned than the flaggs in classrooms!!!

not exactly said...

I think I've found the basis of the poll question here:

It dates back to October 2008. No less outrageous, but no exactly current events.

Zaideslady said...

If George Soros and SEIU don't like the way of America, please leave and take all your disgrunted non-Americans with you.

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