As Kathleen Fox with The Paducah Sun reported, an art teacher at a Kentucky High School set up an exhibit where students were supposed to stand on an American flag while they wrote how they felt about it. Art teacher Shand Stamper at McCracken High School in Paducah set a music stand with paper to write on on top of the flag so that students could contemplate their feelings and then note them.
The exhibit was a re-creation of “Dread” Scott Tyler’s 1989 “artwork” titled “The Proper Way to Display an American Flag.”
Paducah residents were furious. One wrote,”The teacher should be fired and run out of town. I have a son serving to protect this flag at this very moment.” Another added, “It is a sad day when the symbol of this great nation is relegated to occupy the floor. It is a truly sorrowful day when the one who placed it there has the nerve to ask, ‘How does it make you feel?'” A third offered,”I doubt this teacher intended the disrespect her art project exhibited. But nonetheless, it was really a despicable assignment.”
The teacher, Shand Stamper, did apologize: “I love our flag and the nation it stands for. I love the freedom I enjoy because of our brave veterans. I feel sick and deeply sad that through my actions I have dishonored these men and women and also poorly represented you all, (To say) I am devastated by my actions bringing outrage and negativity on you is a gross understatement.”
Michael Ceglinski, the principal, stated that Stamper had erred, and continued that the display had not received approval by the administrators or the school. He said, “We (McCracken County High School) don’t condone this action and we handled it immediately and appropriately.”
Nancy Waldrop, the superintendent of McCracken County Schools, interviewed by TV station WSPD, said the flag, according to protocol, would be burned because it had touched the ground.