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News Alabama Geometry lesson: How to shoot Obama

  1. May 19, 2010 #1

    Ivan Seeking

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    http://www.guardian.co.uk/world/richard-adams-blog/2010/may/19/teacher-alabama-assasination-obama

    I think this deserves a lot more than a slap on the wrist.
     
  2. jcsd
  3. May 19, 2010 #2

    Evo

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    Are people crazier now than in the past, or are they just less afraid of showing it?
     
  4. May 19, 2010 #3

    Ivan Seeking

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    I think this sort of thing has always been around, but some people are seeing red over our black President, and the media shines the lights on the nuts.

    Personally, I think it's a good thing that we hear about this stuff. It is better than the days of the good-ole-boys when something like this could pass without objection. Now at least the idiots are made to look like idiots.
     
  5. May 19, 2010 #4
    I wish I had teachers in school that was this cool :) Actually I did :)
     
  6. May 19, 2010 #5

    Ivan Seeking

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    Why do you think it is cool to be an idiot? Is that the new thing?
     
  7. May 19, 2010 #6

    Char. Limit

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    I find it hilarious that he's teaching like this. But, anything to get conservative students interested in math, I suppose...

    but such a problem would be best for a physics class that heavily uses differential calculus (rates of change and optimization and the like), not for a high school geometry class. Seriously, wait till college to use this problem.
     
  8. May 19, 2010 #7

    Ivan Seeking

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    Really? If math is involved, anything goes? How about problems involving the extermination of rednecks, or gays, or Catholics? Would that be okay as well. How about bomb making lessons?

    What kind of message does this send to the students?

    The responses seen here show that the nuts already have the sympathies of some young people. Young people often aren't capable of understanding the significance of something like this.
     
  9. May 19, 2010 #8
    What if he used Bush as an example instead? Could we make this an exception?
     
  10. May 19, 2010 #9

    Char. Limit

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    Considering that this is Alabama, I doubt this teacher is sending the students any message they haven't already heard from their parents...

    But joking aside (and the last post was a bit of a subtle joke), absolutely, we'd obviously need some restrictions. Hopefully, the Secret Service investigation taught this teacher what's wrong with his teaching methods. But we can't just throw him in jail... he hasn't been convicted of any crime other than two: a possible conspiracy charge, and a definite crime of being offensive to the court of public opinion. The first can be evaluated by a court, although I doubt it would go through, and the second isn't something we throw people in jail for.
     
  11. May 19, 2010 #10
    Ivan you don't get it do you? The people on the side of freedom of speech don't think it's cool when they get bashed with witty words but they do understand that society is at it's best when you allow for it instead of trying to force everyone under a micro scope of pc. I mean really that is what america is about fighting for the rights of others. I'm sorry you don't think other people should have any rights and if that's what you want to preach go for it but just know that it will eventually result in something you may not enjoy.
     
  12. May 19, 2010 #11

    mgb_phys

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    There is a question in the homework thread about trebuchets - have we forgotten all the people that died in medieval wars?
     
  13. May 19, 2010 #12
    Threatening the President of the United States is a crime.

    wiki

    class D felony

     
  14. May 19, 2010 #13
    Really and here I thought trying to undermine the kings authority was something that we all accepted as ok.
     
  15. May 19, 2010 #14

    Char. Limit

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    The question is not "Is threatening the president a crime?" The question is "Is this a threat as defined in the United States Code?" That, I believe, is a difficult question. Answer this, please: Did this teacher "willfully make a threat to take the life of" the President of the United States? If yes, then this is a felony and he will serve 5 to 10. If no, then he has not committed this crime. So... your answer?
     
  16. May 19, 2010 #15

    CRGreathouse

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    It's clearly not a threat to the President as defined above. But that doesn't mean the teacher's OK -- just that this is for the board, not the courts, to decide. (Apparently they're not doing much...?)
     
  17. May 19, 2010 #16

    BobG

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    What does go as far as 'tasteless' physics problems?

    Would mgb_phys's trebuchet problem be acceptable as long as the problem doesn't get graphic about the deaths?

    How about this problem: In an alternate reality during the '99 Womens World Cup, referee Nicole Petignat calls a retake of a sudden death PK that Briana Scurry blocked, saying Scurry came off her line too early (she did come off her line way too early in the real reality, but Petignat made no call).

    Seeing as how the call could have cost the USA the Womens World Cup title and the game was played in the US in the Rose Bowl in front of packed crowd of about 100,000, the fans would probably be pretty irate. If all of them held up a 1 meter square mirror to reflect the sunlight onto referee Nicole Petignat's head, how long would it take for the blood in her brain to reach boiling point?

    Is that an acceptable physics problem? Or is the means of death a little too graphic? Or is it using the referee's actual name that makes the problem a little too specific?

    Or is it specifically using an example that kills a specific world leader that makes the problem unacceptable?

    I think the example was in poor taste. I'm not sure where the line should be drawn on punishing poor taste, though.
     
  18. May 19, 2010 #17

    Evo

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    For me it's the fact that it was a high school teacher using a real person as a hypothetical target in his classroom of students.
     
  19. May 19, 2010 #18
    He's a sick teacher

     
  20. May 19, 2010 #19

    CRGreathouse

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    I'm inclined to give more leeway to an unplanned, off-the-cuff remark than a homework assignment.
     
  21. May 19, 2010 #20

    BobG

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    I'd definitely consider that as being over the line, but I might even consider some non-specific person problems as being over the line just for being too graphic.

    It's almost like asking which is the worse video game: http://www.gamespot.com/pc/action/jfkreloaded/index.html. JFK Reloaded obviously, but is there any redeeming value in Grand Theft Auto?

    Just using shooting the ear off as an example of tangency is going too far, even if not naming a specific person.

    Still don't think I would have suspended him, though, unless he had a prior record for tasteless class examples.
     
    Last edited by a moderator: Apr 25, 2017
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