26-year-old high school English teacher, Jordan Parmenter, was fired from Martinsville Junior-Senior High School in Illinois after stepping on a small U.S. flag during a lesson on free speech.
Students say Parmenter was using the American flag as a pointer. When a student suggested that this use of the American flag could be viewed as disrespectful, Parmenter got really mad, students said. He dropped the flag on the floor and intentionally stepped right on it.
When the flag stomping happened, word spread quickly throughout the school and the small town.
A group of community members organized a demonstration in front of the school building. They urged respect for the U.S. flag and said they were furious at Parmenter’s actions.
“It’s just disgraceful,” local Navy veteran Clifford Clouser told regional Fox affiliate WTHI-TV.
Clouser stood along with the school property line with other demonstrators. They proudly and carefully held U.S. flags.
Martinsville High senior Jonathan Smith said, “We can’t figure out why he actually went to the simulations of actually doing it. He talked about it being the right to do whatever he wants. That’s why it was there so he could do whatever he wants, but we have no idea why he would actually take it down and basically start all this.”
In a subsequent letter of apology for his actions, Parmenter admitted his decision to drop a symbol of American freedom and tread on it to demonstrate freedom was imprudent.
Parmenter was present at the meeting last Thursday at which the board members voted and announced their unanimous decision to place him on leave for the remainder of the school year, effective immediately. Their vote was 6-0.