A substitute teacher in Parkway South School District in St. Louis Co. Missouri was either fired, suspended, or reassigned because he thanked the 22 students in his class who stood for the Pledge of Allegiance. He told the students, “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.” However, two students in the class did not stand, and at least one of them told a school official that he was “hurt” by the teacher’s comments. We do not know whether the student considered the possibility that the other 22 students or the teacher might have been “hurt” by his refusal to stand, but we suspect he would be indignant at the thought they might. After all, that would impinge on his rights, would it not? The school says that the teacher was “bullying” the students, and that this was only one in a series of incidents that prompted his punishment. Perhaps there were others and whether the teacher should have been reprimanded we cannot say, but it seems to us that if a high school student has enough awareness of current events and knows even a modicum of American history, and chooses not to stand, he should be capable of understanding why someone might disagree with his decision; after all, the non-standing student, we assume, has a good reason for refusing to stand – and if so, should be capable of explaining why and willing to provide that explanation when confronted.
And then we have the manager at a Chipotle restaurant in St. Paul, Minnesota who lost her job after a customer posted a video of employees at the store refusing to serve his party unless they paid for their meal in advance. The manager believed that the man had stolen food in a similar manner earlier in the week, but when the man denied he had been in the restaurant that day, and the manager was “unable to be 100% sure,” the manager was fired. One wonders how common this practice is in St. Paul, but apparently more than one person does it. The man in question had posted on Twitter many times that he was a practitioner of “dine and dash,” the expression for those who receive orders and depart without paying. In one, which he apparently since has deleted, he said “chipotle catchin up to us...we should change locations...” In another post he referred to the practice as “borrowing food.” Apparently he considered taking his “business” to Applebee’s, posting, “eat as much as we can and tip the nice lady 20 cents and walk...out.” As it turns out, he had been sentenced in January to two years probation for theft, served two days of a one-year jail sentence (the rest was suspended); and earlier pled guilty to a theft charge and received a year of probation. These things apparently were unknown to the people who fired the manager. (We will not ruminate here on how the meaning of “probation” has changed over the years, but evidently it lacks the power that it once commanded.) Again, if the manager had the wrong man, she should be reprimanded; but why did the restaurant feel it necessary to axe her without collecting all the facts?
Like the Pledge of Allegiance, paying for goods received evidently is an antiquated concept, and, like refusing to stand for the Pledge, those who practice “dine and dash” are quite indignant about those who disagree with their philosophy. Those who stand up for those antiquated concepts had better be prepared to lose their jobs.
As a nation, we used to have standards that were universally agreed upon – honesty and patriotism were two of them. Sadly, they now are considered quaint relics of a terrible past. In recent days the progressives have decried the method for choosing the US Senate (Why, they say, should Wyoming have as many senators as California?) and the Electoral College is something else that will disappear if the progressives have their way. Some want to make “denial of climate change” a criminal offense, and others ridicule the idea of showing an ID at the polling place and others want to give felons the right to vote. It is sure going take a long time for some of us to become accustomed to “the new normal.”