Illinois teacher fired from school after stepping on American flag in class, report says

An Illinois school board reportedly fired the teacher who stepped on an American flag in class on May 15 at a local high school.

The Mattoon Journal Gazette reports that the Martinsville school board voted unanimously Thursday to dismiss English teacher Jordan Parmenter, effective immediately.

Parmenter, 26, told the paper Sunday he was present in the meeting, where he was addressed by the board and answered questions from all six of the board members. Parmenter didn’t speak further into the matter until he had a chance to speak with a union representative.

After the incident occurred, Parmenter was placed on leave for the remainder of the school year. He subsequently wrote a letter apologizing to the school.

Parmenter told the Journal Gazette earlier in June the incident occurred when he was teaching his English class on free speech. Parmenter used the small American flag on the corner of the room as a pointer.

A student called Parmenter out for using the flag as a pointer, saying it was disrespectful. Paramenter said he then dropped the flag on the floor and stepped on it to show an example of free speech as part of the lesson.

Parmenter apologized to the class and instantly regretted the decision he made.

"What I did was never intended as a show of disrespect to our country, to our veterans, or to anyone, nor would I ever do or say anything with that intention,” he told the paper. “I love my country and have nothing but the utmost respect for those who serve it."

In the interview with the Journal Gazette, Parmenter said from talking with the community, he believes they are willing to forgive him.

"I have loved working for Martinsville and have greatly enjoyed the opportunity to help our students achieve success," Parmenter said in his apology letter to the school. "I assure you that nothing of this nature will ever occur again."

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