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School Board Upholds Suspension for Teacher Who Stomped on American Flag

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A North Carolina school board has upheld the ten-day suspension without pay of a high school teacher who stomped on the American flag as part of a lesson on the First Amendment.

The Cumberland County Board of Education voted 5-2 Wednesday to uphold the suspension recommended by Superintendent Frank Till, the Associated Press reported.

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Board members deliberated for more than eight hours behind closed doors.

It is up to Till whether Lee Francis returns to the classroom at Massey Hill Classical High School to teach history. Till said he will make his decision after winter break.

Francis has been reassigned to the Cumberland County Schools Operations Center since September, the Fayetteville Observer reported.

Francis was teaching a lesson on Texas v. Johnson, a landmark Supreme Court case that upheld flag burning and other forms of desecrating the flag as protected free speech under the First Amendment.

Francis asked the students for a lighter or scissors. When no one had one, he threw the flag on the floor and stomped on it.

Cumberland County District Attorney Billy West said his office will not prosecute Francis for flag desecration, which is a misdemeanor in the state, because he and several other legal experts believe federal law overrides it.


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