Teacher showing foreign flags put on leave
By Karen Rouse
Denver Post Staff Writer
A seventh-grade geography teacher who refused to remove Chinese, Mexican and United Nations flags from his classroom was placed on
paid administrative leave Wednesday by Jefferson County officials who were concerned that the display violates the law.
District officials said state law forbids the display of foreign flags unless they are temporary and related to the curriculum.
Carmody Middle School principal John Schalk looked at the curriculum for Eric Hamlin's world geography class "and there was nothing ... related to any of these countries," said Lynn Setzer, district spokeswoman.
She said Schalk asked the teacher three times to remove the flags and warned there would be consequences, but Hamlin refused.
Hamlin, in his first year at Carmody, said he regularly displays flags from different countries, rotating them out based on countries being studied.
He said that the first six weeks of school are devoted to discussing the "fundamentals of geography" and that the flags were randomly selected...