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Board dismisses teacher who stepped on flag in class

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MARTINSVILLE (JG-TC) -- The local school board has dismissed the teacher who stepped on a U.S. flag in class on May 15 at the Martinsville Junior-Senior High School.

School district Superintendent Jill Rogers reported that the Martinsville school board voted 6-0 Thursday evening to dismiss English teacher Jordan Parmenter, effective immediately.

Parmenter said Sunday afternoon that he was present at Thursday's meeting, where he addressed the school board and answered questions from individual board members. Parmenter declined to discuss the issue further until he is able to speak with his union representative.

After the May 15 incident, the district placed Parmenter on leave for the remainder of the school year. Parmenter subsequently wrote a letter of apology that he submitted to the school board.

Parmenter has said he was teaching a planned lesson on freedom of speech May 15 when he used the small U.S. flag in the room as a pointer for a chart.

One of the students in this class stated that using the U.S. flag as a pointer is disrespectful, Parmenter said. The teacher said he then made what he says was the rash decision of dropping the flag to the floor and stepping on it to illustrate an example of free speech as part of the lesson that day.


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Rob Stroud is a reporter for the JG-TC, covering the city of Mattoon, Lake Land College, Cumberland County and areas including Oakland, Casey and Martinsville.

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