Lee Francis, a teacher in Fayetteville, North Carolina was suspended for stepping on the American Flag while teaching a lesson on the First Amendment during his American History class at Massey Hill Classical High School.
During the lesson he stomped on the American flag to demonstrate freedom of speech in the decision in Texas v. Johnson – a 1989 Supreme Court case upholding flag desecration. But a student took a photo of Francis stomping the flag and posted it on social media. The photo went viral, igniting outrage and Francis was reportedly suspended without pay. However, some sources report that he was placed on paid administrative leave.
According to the Washington Times, A parent’s Facebook picture showing Lee Francis standing over a crumpled flag in his class at Massey Hill Classical High School has gone viral with more than 10,000 shares, The Fayetteville Observer reported.
Sara Taylor, whose child attends Massey Hill but is not enrolled in Mr. Francis’ class, wrote that the teacher first asked students for a lighter or scissors to destroy the flag.
“When there were no scissors he took the flag and stomped all over it. He is saying this was teaching First Amendment rights,” Ms. Taylor wrote.
“I called the Principal Dr. [Pamela] Adams and asked her why he couldn’t have talked about it and not actually disrespect the flag like that and she completely stood up for him,” Ms. Taylor added.
A hearing was held Wednesday to decide if Francis will remain employed with the Cumberland County School district.