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A North Carolina Teacher Stepped On The American Flag To Show Importance of Free Speech, Immediately Suspended

Lee Daniels High School Flag

Lee Daniels, a teacher at Massey Hill Classical High School in Fayetteville, North Carolina, wanted to teach some of his American History students a lesson about freedom of speech, specifically the case of Texas v. Johnson. As we’re sure that you remember, Texas v. Johnson was the famous Supreme Court case decision which stated that desecrating the American flag as a sign of protest was protected under the First Amendment of the Constitution.

So what did Mr. Daniels do? He grabbed an American flag, laid it out on the ground, and asked his students for a pair of scissors or a lighter. When none were offered, he instead stepped on the American flag, immediately causing two students to get up and leave. Daniels says that one of those students asked for the flag so that it could be taken to the principal and “properly taken care of.” Another student snapped this photo, which was shared on Facebook.

According to Mr. Daniels, he then asked the remaining students if they were offended. Apparently, they all said “no.”

But once the photo started getting shared online, Daniels was suspended indefinitely. He won’t be reinstated until the super-intendant completes his investigation. As for Daniels, here’s what he had to say about the situation.

“But this is exactly what I teach: You don’t teach kids how to think or what to think; you teach them to go their own path. If they feel so convicted that this is their cause they’re going to stand for, I don’t blame them. It’s an upper-level school for those who aspire to go to college and in that regard, we have rigor and expectations, so I treat them as such.

Not only was the demonstration warranted and justified based on the court, it’s warranted and justified in the rights we have. This is the law of the land upheld by the highest court. Freedom of speech is not just defined verbally by something you say or write down on paper, but something that can also be a physical action.”

Obviously, this is a pretty timely story considering the professional athletes who are kneeling during the National Anthem, protesting the violence and discrimination they feel black Americans face in regards to the police. But here’s the thing, stepping on the flag (even burning it) is protected by the United States supreme court. It’s not illegal. So how a public school teacher can be suspended for teaching his students a lesson about American History and the law is completely bonkers to me.

To his credit, Mr. Daniels even told reporters that he’s happy some of the students got up and left. It shows that they’re protesting in their own rights. But anyways, you’re going to hear a ton of stuff from the peanut gallery about this story, so just remember that it’s great if you want to protect the sanctity of the American flag and what it stands for, but it’s not illegal to burn the flag (as long as its a sign of protest).

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