A Teacher’s Reprehensible Behavior at the White House
'This is blatant disrespect to me, to my kids, to everybody ... People have gone crazy'
Washington, D.C., is a popular destination for schoolchildren. It gives students the opportunity to experience history and learn about our nation’s capital. Nine students from Warrensburg Middle School in Missouri received an unwelcome lesson during their trip to the capital from one of the chaperones, when a science teacher from the school posted photos of himself flipping off the White House.
According to students, Lynn Miller informed them at the airport in Kansas City that he planned to “give the finger” to the White House. Miller followed through with his promise and posted the photo to his personal Facebook page.
While none of the students actually witnessed Miller flipping off the White House, he told them they could visit his Facebook page to view the photo. At least one of the students was troubled by this exchange and spoke to the media. It’s a sad day when a middle school student can discern right from wrong better than a teacher can.
The photo has since been deleted, but one parent saved and shared it to bring awareness to the incident. He has spoken out on the actions taken by the educator. John Hammond, who served in the Marine Corps for 23 years, was troubled that his daughter had witnessed what he deemed an act of disrespect.
According to Hammond, “This is blatant disrespect to me, my kids, to everybody. People have gone crazy with it, but to me, it’s all about being held accountable for your actions.” Hammond also expressed that he doesn’t want Miller fired but would like for him to apologize for his actions.
What I find surprising is the fact that the superintendent of Warrensburg schools acknowledged the incident in a statement to the media and said that Miller hasn’t been disciplined and didn’t mention whether or not he would be. Educators should be held to a higher standard, especially when interacting with children.
Lynn Miller was completely wrong, and what he did was unacceptable. Regardless of anyone’s political beliefs, Miller acted inappropriately around schoolchildren and needs to face consequences. This is a grown man who teaches children for a living.
It’s also concerning that Miller gave students information on how to access his inappropriate photo. I’m not sure how the majority of parents feel, but I wouldn’t want my children communicating with teachers via their personal social media accounts. Encouraging students to view this content is a slippery slope. Where would Miller draw the line? As not only an educator but an adult male, he needs to exercise a little more common sense.
It’s his duty — whether or not he’s acting in an official school capacity — to protect and guide children. He has demonstrated poor judgment in regard to what is appropriate for children. At the very least, he needs to be given some sort of reprimand.
Parents put their faith and trust into chaperones who have been charged with looking after their children. They shouldn’t have to worry about students being exposed to adult content.
Angelina Newsom is a U.S. Army veteran and an OpsLens contributor. She served 10 years in the military, including a deployment to Afghanistan in support of Operation Enduring Freedom. She studies criminal justice and is still active within the military community. This OpsLens article is used by permission.