Illinois Teacher Fired After Stepping On American Flag in Class

| by Nathaly Pesantez

A teacher at the Martinsville Junior-Senior High School in Martinsville, Illinois, was let go by the local school board after allegedly stepping on the U.S. Flag during class on May 15.

In a 6-0 decision, the Martinsville school board voted on Thursday to dismiss Jordan Parmenter, an English teacher, according to school district Superintendent Jill Rogers.

Parmenter was present at the meeting to speak to the school board and answer their questions, the Mattoon Journal-Gazette reported.

The school district placed Parmenter on leave after the May 15 incident, according to KTVI. He submitted a written apology to the board shortly afterward. 

The incident began when Parmenter used a U.S. flag in the classroom as a chart pointer during a planned freedom of speech lesson. After one of his students said to him that his use of the flag was disrespectful, Parmenter dropped the flag to the floor and stepped on it in an attempt to demonstrate free speech. 

Residents of Martinsville responded negatively after news of the May 15 incident broke out. 

“It should have never happened," Nicholas Gibson, a Marine Corps veteran, said to WTHI-TV. 

Jonathan Smith, a senior at the school, was left confused after Parmenter’s actions. 

“We can’t really 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,” Smith said, according to the Tristate Homepage. 

Parmenter did not comment on the Thursday vote, and plans on speaking to a union representative, reports the Mattoon Journal-Gazette. 

Sources: WTHITV, Tristate Homepage, KTVI, Mattoon Journal-Gazette
Photo Credit: Tristate Homepage