Yesterday I wrote about the Brooklyn public school teacher, Christopher Flanigan, who described the massive gathering of police officers at slain Detective Jason Rivera’s funeral as “ideal conditions for reciprocity,” after citing a 2020 instance where a police vehicle drove through a crowd of protesters and rioters in the city. I am forced to confess that I got one thing wrong when covering that story. After noting an actress who was fired after also complaining about the funeral, I said that her treatment was “more than you’ll see happening to Mr. Flanigan” because of the far-left climate in most of the public schools. Well, Coney Island Prep School surprised me when they turned around later the same day and terminated Flanigan’s employment. Meanwhile, the former teacher is attempting to do some damage control, claiming that his words in the now-deleted social media post were “misconstrued.” (Daily Mail)
‘We do not condone or promote violence of any sort,’ said Coney Island Prep CEO Leslie-Bernard Joseph in a statement released Sunday. ‘As of this afternoon, Mr. Flanigan is no longer employed at Coney Island Prep.’
‘The teachers and staff of Coney Island Prep are public servants; and like all public servants we hold ourselves to a much higher standard,’ Joseph continued.
‘We work hard to serve the young people in our community, and we know our police officers do as well, taking innumerable risks, to keep our city safe.’
I rarely get to say this about any of the public schools, particularly in New York City, but congratulations to CEO Leslie-Bernard Joseph and Coney Island Prep for rejecting that sort of violent rhetoric against the police. It was particularly distasteful when you consider that Flanigan’s “reciprocity” comment was made in response to the death of a police officer who was murdered in a cowardly ambush, along with his partner who also succumbed to his wounds a week later.
As for the excuses that Flanigan is now trying to offer, let’s just say I’m not buying it. When he finally stopped hanging up on reporters and spoke to a reporter from the New York Post, he claimed that in his post, he was “just trying to show the vulnerability of all of these police officers being in the same place at the same time which seems like a dangerous situation.” He went on to say that he “respects” the police and “does not condone violence.”
How he expects anyone to buy this is a mystery to me. If that’s the case, then why would you invoke the memory of a police vehicle driving through some protesters (where there were no injuries and the crowd was blocking an emergency vehicle) before saying the funeral gathering was an “ideal opportunity for reciprocity?” You’re a teacher, for Pete’s sake. Are you trying to say that you don’t know the definition of the word ‘reciprocity’ after so specifically using it? If that’s the case, perhaps you should have been terminated long before this for flunking basic English.
Flanigan attempted to address that question when speaking to the Post.
‘Not in the sense for people to be driving or to be doing anything similar to what the police did,’ he said. ‘But they put themselves in a similar position by being … all there, all together and it’s similar to how the protesters were.
‘That – I was trying to use that word to almost be the inverse mirror of that. The police were now the people that were gathered together and the protestors were people that were gathered together. Both in dangerous situations but by no means implying or inciting or promoting that anyone should be a danger to anyone else.’
You were trying to use the word to “almost be the inverse mirror” of what you clearly know it means? If you were attempting to compliment one of your colleagues on the new suit they had recently purchased for work, would you tell them, “My, you certainly look quite hideous today?”
If that’s Flanigan’s story and he’s sticking to it, I suppose that’s his business. Personally, however, I think it’s far more likely that he had just assumed that nobody would notice his nasty Instagram post except for his liberal friends and colleagues who would agree with him. Then, when it totally blew up in his face, he tried deleting it, but the floodgates were already open. But he probably shouldn’t worry. Given the power of the teachers’ unions in the Big Apple, he’ll probably have another job in no time.
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