Teacher suspended after stomping on American flag during First Amendment lesson

This is an archived article and the information in the article may be outdated. Please look at the time stamp on the story to see when it was last updated.

Fayetteville, N.C. - 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.

7 comments

    • guest72

      The First Amendment should definitely be taught in our schools. So many people don’t know what it actually says. But this was probably not the smartest way to demonstrate it. Unfortunately the teacher will lose his job – and, just as regrettable, no one has actually learned anything.

  • Untitled

    This is what liberal teachers are teaching your children. A total disrespect for all the men and women who died for this country. If this teacher does not like what this country stands for,he can move back to Africa. Or better yet russia,where he would be executed for those actions.

  • JokeEnthusiast

    Another case of everyone picking and choosing what parts of our rights to observe. Was it necessary to teach the lesson? No. Is it wrong? No.

    Get over it.

  • TOM B

    Have this piece of crapolla stomp on the American Flag in front of ANY VET, see what would happen next.. I’m sure hillary would give this teacher a position in her campaign.

Comments are closed.