A South Carolina teacher has been suspended after he allegedly threw the American flag on the ground and stomped on it in front of his honors English class. He reportedly told students the flag was "only a piece of cloth" and didn't "mean anything."
At least one parent calls the actions of the Chapin High School English teacher disrespectful and unpatriotic, WIS-TV reports. Officials at Chapin High School, located in Chapin, S.C. hope to have a permanent replacement for the teacher for the remainder of the year while an investigation is carried out.
One parent, Michael Copleand, says he heard his teenager talking about what her English teacher did with the American flag in the classroom and pressed to get the whole story.
"He drew a couple of symbols, like one of them was a cross, and he said, 'What does this represent,' and everybody said, 'Christianity,'" Copeland told WIS-TV.
"Then he proceeds to take down the American flag, and said, 'This is a symbol, but it's only a piece of cloth. It doesn't mean anything,' and then he throws it down on the floor and then stomps on it, repeatedly," he added. "I asked what was he trying to get, the point across? And she said, 'I don't know,' and he said, his explanation was there would be no consequences, it's just a piece of cloth that doesn't mean anything."
But there were consequences.
Mark Bounds, A spokesman for the Lexington-Richland 5 school district, a military veteran, was unhappy with the teacher's disrespectful display.
"Our superintendent served in the military, I served in the military for 20 years, our flag is a symbol of our freedom, and so many people have fought and died for that liberty, and so we take this action very seriously," he said.
He continued: "There is a code of ethics for teachers that talks about professional conduct, and then we tell our teachers that their personal opinion is their personal opinion and shouldn't be brought into the classroom, and so we caution them all the time," said Bounds.
The lesson on the flag was repeated in three classes that day. School officials have reportedly launched a full investigation into the incident.
What do you think, is the American flag more than a "piece of cloth?"
Featured image via AP
This story has been updated.