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The utter ignorance of modern educators on proud display the last two days in Colorado

Jaiden and school official
Click to watch the video

In the last few days a story about a 12-year-old boy who was banned from classes because he had a Gadsden flag sticker on his backpack has gone viral, with the school, The Vanguard School, forced to cancel its parents night because of the outrage.

School officials had claimed that the Gadsden flag was not allowed at the school because it had “its origins in slavery and the slave trade,” a false statement of such utter ignorance of American history it leaves anyone with any education breathless with astonishment. The picture to the right shows the student Jaiden reacting in bemused disbelief at the moment that school official (in the background) made this absurd claim. He clearly knows more about American history than this brainless school official.

Not surprisingly, the uproar quickly caused the school’s board of directors to call an emergency meeting in which they backed down, especially as Jaiden had said he intended to continue to come to classes with the sticker on his pack, and would even do a sit-in if they dared try to kick him out again.

My purpose in mentioning this story however is to show how it illustrates so completely the bankruptcy of our education system today. Educators simply do not know American history, even though they are the people we expect to teach it. And when that ignorance is discovered, as in this case, they can’t just admit error and apologize, they have to equivocate and add more lies to their foolishness.

Director of Operations of the Vanguard School, Jeff Yocum, attempted to further justify the school’s policy on the Gadsden Flag by mentioning the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission which said the flag “originated in the Revolutionary War in a non-racial context” but added, “whatever the historic origins and meaning of the symbol, it has been sometimes interpreted to convey racially-tinged messages.”

Yocum doubled down by citing a “graphic design scholar” in an article at who said, “some may now see the Gadsden flag as a symbol of intolerance hate — or even racism.” Then Yocum claimed Jaiden was breaking a rule by displaying the flag because students were prohibited from displaying things that referred to “drugs, tobacco, alcohol, or weapons.”

If it feels like Yocum was scrambling in desperation to find justification for this false and clearly biased take on a patriotic flag, then you’re not alone.

The subsequent fast response of the school’s board of directors, where they claim they understand the correct “historical significance of the Gadsden flag and its place in history”, is pure PR blather, since if it had been true before this kerfuffle then the teachers they hire would have never banned Jaiden from classes. They would have known what the flag truly represented — the American determination to free itself from Great Britain’s unjust policies — and they certainly would never have made the idiotic claims about the flag that they did.

Gadsden Flag - a symbol of unbowing defiance to oppression
Gadsden Flag – a symbol of unbowing defiance to oppression

What makes this story even more distressing is that the Vanguard School appears to be private charter school, founded by parents who wanted their kids to get a better education then what was available in the government public schools. It seems that won’t work if you hire teachers trained in the modern academic community. They will still be ignoramuses.

Jaiden and his parents however are heroes. They epitomize in every way possible the meaning of the Gadsden flag. Don’t run in fear. Don’t back down. Stand for what you believe in. And fight, fight hard when others try to smash their boot into your face. Freedom is worth fighting for, and in this case Jaiden stood for freedom.

Genesis cover

On Christmas Eve 1968 three Americans became the first humans to visit another world. What they did to celebrate was unexpected and profound, and will be remembered throughout all human history. Genesis: the Story of Apollo 8, Robert Zimmerman's classic history of humanity's first journey to another world, tells that story, and it is now available as both an ebook and an audiobook, both with a foreword by Valerie Anders and a new introduction by Robert Zimmerman.

The ebook is available everywhere for $5.99 (before discount) at amazon, or direct from my ebook publisher, ebookit. If you buy it from ebookit you don't support the big tech companies and the author gets a bigger cut much sooner.

The audiobook is also available at all these vendors, and is also free with a 30-day trial membership to Audible.

"Not simply about one mission, [Genesis] is also the history of America's quest for the moon... Zimmerman has done a masterful job of tying disparate events together into a solid account of one of America's greatest human triumphs."--San Antonio Express-News


  • Skunk Bucket

    When my eldest was in the last year at her excellent K-8 charter school, we considered sending her to Vanguard for high school. It had a great reputation for taking academics seriously. We ultimately decided against it because of the distances involved, but now that I hear these reports about them, I’m glad they weren’t located closer. I guess we need to keep in mind that almost all teachers are trained at extremely liberal schools of education where they teach indoctrination over enlightenment. The public HS our kids ended up going to was above average (not saying much), but they made the most of it.

  • David

    I think Bob’s comment “..they can’t just admit error and apologize” hits the nail in the head. I had a Physics Teacher in High School who disagreed with a conclusion I made on a
    science magazine article. I did some research and presented my results to him. Even though his disagreement was not in public he made a point of admitting error in front of the whole class and used it as a example of how science was done. More teachers like Mr Hansen are needed.

  • John

    Yeah, they knew exactly what the gadsden represents; it’s just in their deluded minds the people associated with it have to be irredeemable racists. You know, like the United States. They just thought they could intimidate and discriminate against a freedom lover.

  • Alej Marcos

    Those than can, do.

    Those that can’t , teach.

    (Didn’t used to be that way; teachers in the ’60s and before were educated, cultured, and respected. And didn’t come to the school dressed for the beach. )

  • LongTimeTexan

    Those in our school system often like to brag about how they are so highly educated. This kind of incident just proves that quite often they are dumber than dirt. This staff person claimed that the flag on the students backpack was upsetting to other students. Really? So how many of his classmates complained about the flag, how many showed signs of stress because of the flag, how many ran out of the classroom crying and screaming, how many called it racist, were any so overcome with grief that they had to be taken to the hospital? What ignoramuses we have in our school system. The moron staff person should be fired

  • Col Beausabre

    Those who can, do
    Those who can’t, teach
    Those who can’t teach, become union executives

  • sippin_bourbon

    What is sad is that they probably teach their incorrect version of history.
    And worse, they know it.

  • pzatchok

    i noticed in high school that the war of 1812 was skipped over for no apparent reason.

    After reading about it I figured out why.
    The second amendment and piracy. Think about that for a second.

    Learning about the war teaches you that the second amendment applied to ALL weapons. Including that eras most powerful canons and rifles. Piracy on the high seas was legalized and in many cases encouraged through letters of marquee and reprisal.

    That is when I realized that teachers lie and do it for their own political and philosophical reasons. My history teacher even got mad and asked me why I read about that war?

  • sippin_bourbon

    In the today’s education system, ignorance is not a bug. Its a feature.

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