NC Teacher Steps On American Flag To Teach Students A Lesson

FAYETTEVILLE, NORTH CAROLINA (CNN) — The students in teacher Lee Francis’ history class will probably never forget the lesson he taught on free speech. Just not in the way he probably expected.

Francis, a teacher at Massey Hill Classical High School in Fayetteville, North Carolina, was giving a lesson Monday on the First Amendment. His method? First, he tried to burn the American flag. Then he tried to cut it. Then he placed it on the floor and stepped on it.

“I put the flag on the ground, and I took two steps with my right foot and I said, ‘This is an example of free speech,'” Francis told CNN affiliate WRAL. “Two students got up and left immediately with no word, no disruption at all … I assumed something had happened. One student came to where I was and took the flag from me.”

Francis said he wasn’t trying to offend students, just teach them the Supreme Court ruled such acts of free expression were protected.

Outrage and outcome

A picture of Francis standing on the flag was shared widely. In a community closely aligned with nearby Fort Bragg, outraged parents now want him fired. He’s been suspended pending an investigation.

Francis will meet with Frank Till Jr., superintendent of Cumberland County Schools, about his job later this week.

In a statement, Till said, “Clearly there are other ways to teach First Amendment rights without desecrating a flag.”

Francis, who says he has relatives in the military, agrees with him.

“I think he’s right, absolutely there could be other ways to teach the subject. But in the same vein the way that I taught, it can’t necessarily be wrong,” Francis told WRAL.

The-CNN-Wire ™ & © 2016 Cable News Network, Inc., a Time Warner Company. All rights reserved.


One Comment

  1. patriotic patti says:

    Agreed, of course. However, here’s the thing: We are thinking back a few decades when the memory of WWII, Korea, were still fresh and America was more patriotic as a natural response. It was part of the fabric of our lives along with “Only you can prevent forest fires,” A penny saved is a penny earned,” etc. Nowadays how often do you hear about not dishonoring the Flag? Similarly, “Put litter in its place” – how often do you hear those sorts of public service announcements? I think a lot of good could be done simply by popular role models sending these types of messages.

  2. Carol Proud says:

    Not the best example to be giving to his students,…if this is how he demonstrates free speech,…he might be lacking in common sense.

  3. betterlate says:

    Doesn’t matter, what is free speech, what matters is using self restraint- sometimes free speech isn’t always the wisest course.Disgraceful!!

  4. When someone stomps on our flag, they are stomping on the faces of every brave and patriotic service member that served, suffered, and died for our freedoms and safety. It’s time to recognize who the enemy within is and to call them what they are – regardless of who they are!

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