With All the Discussion About Flags . . .

USA America Burning Fire Flag War Conflict Night 3D

USA America Burning Fire Flag War Conflict Night 3D

Well, there’s another story about a famous flag entering into the news. It’s not the witchhunt about the Confederate flag this time, but rather the good old Stars and Stripes. In this case, an Illinois teacher has been fired due to his actions revolving around the flag in class. The teacher reportedly stomped on the flag to show the class the value of free speech, he says.

The case quickly became a national story. The Chicago Tribune reported on the controversy swirling around the Martinsville teacher, Jordan Parmenter. The incident happened on May 15th and was referred to the district’s school board. The Board voted unanimously 6-0 to relieve Parmenter of his job.

The Tribune followed up with an op-ed defending the embattled teacher. Parmenter has apologized, saying “I love my country and have nothing but the utmost respect for those who serve it.” The teacher explained that his actions weren’t part of any protest, but rather just a piece of a course lesson.

Meanwhile local WTHITV reported on the incident. Local reactions seem to be mixed and mirror a wider argument on whether or not disrespecting the flag is covered by the Constitution. With further debate, the intricacies of reasoning can be ascertained, especially when performed in front of schoolchildren. The full details of the course and how it is taught have not yet been shown to the press and could explain a lot.

The Constitution as it reads now clearly defends the right to stomp or burn the flag, as horrible as the thought sounds. As a former Marine, any disrespect to the flag churns my stomach but there’s a First Amendment for a reason. Unpopular speech, even that which we think is detestable is as much part of public discourse as anything else. The case against the teacher and his motives should be strongly considered before any off the cuff decision is made to get rid of him. There could be a valid reason behind his lesson that we can all learn from.