A Missouri teacher has drawn controversy for upturning his middle fingers at the White House during a student trip to Washington D.C. The gesture has left one parent particularly irate and demanding an apology.
On June 2, science teacher Lynn Miller expressed his dislike for the Trump administration by flipping off the White House. Miller was chaperoning a privately-sponsored trip to the nation's capital.
Miller teaches in Warrensburg County, Missouri. While he did not strike his crude pose in front of his middle school-aged students, a social media upload of the incident drew condemnation from John Hammond, whose 14-year-old daughter was in attendance.
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"This is blatant disrespect, to me, my kids, to everybody," Hammond told WDAF. "People have gone crazy with it, but to me, it's all about being held accountable for your actions."
The trip was coordinated and hosted by World Stride. Superintendent Scott Patrick of Warrensburg County asserted that Miller was not on official school business, The Kansas City Star reports.
Patrick added that he had been contacted by parents who were "on both sides of the issue."
Hammond took to social media to assert that the school had advertised the trip.
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"The Warrensburg Middle School sent a brochure home with my child explaining the trip to Washington… I would like for the Warrensburg School District to explain how this is not a school sponsored trip when it was arranged and coordinated by Warrensburg Middle School Staff," Hammond wrote on his Facebook page.
The upset parent added "I placed my daughter in the care and custody of these teachers for an educational trip… At no time do I recall being told that this trip was independent of the school or not sponsored by the school."
Hammond's social media post was shared 6,000 times and sparked calls for Miller to be fired.
"Yes we have freedom of speech but there are consequences to want we do and say," wrote one Facebook user. "Hold that person accountable for his choices of how he displayed his freedom of speech."
Another Facebook user wrote "I don't care what your political views are, you should always have respect for your country -- especially when chaperoning children."
Warrensburg resident Douglas Bradler noted that Miller's gesture would not even be controversial if his picture had not been shared online.
"He can have his own opinion," Bradler told KSHB. "Just, everything's viral these days."
Fellow resident Paxton Russell deemed the gesture disrespectful to President Donald Trump.
"There’s a lot of controversy with who’s in the White House right now, and a lot of people are angry, but he is still the president," Russell said.
Corrine Hammond asserted that she and her husband only want Miller to apologize for flipping off the White House.
"I just think he needs to apologize for what he did," Corrine said. "That's it. I don't want to see him get fired for the mistake he made."
Miller was not on school grounds or conducting school business when he made his feelings toward the Trump administration known. It is unlikely that he will be disciplined for the gesture. He declined to comment when reached by journalists.