By Todd Starnes Published September 21, 2016
The teacher who desecrated the American flag inside a North Carolina classroom told me he has no regrets and wants the student who photographed him to be punished. Lee Francis, a first year history teacher at Massey Hill Classical High School in Fayetteville, has been placed on administrative leave while the school district investigates the incident.
I fought for this flag, and ....
Actually, I didn't fight for this flag.
I fought for " ... the Republic for which it stands ....”
If some yahoo wants to burn the flag, and I'm there, I may choose to challenge it.
But this yahoo is right. Living in a free country means that you are not obliged to respect it. And I think there's more to the story than meets the eye.
I'm not sure if his students actually understood the lesson;
I hope that he explained that he disrespected neither the flag or the country.
I hope that this was not some demonstration of the BLM/Slavery outrage that's currently in vogue.
I hope that he was illustrating the point that this IS a country where there are no laws constraining our freedom to protest. To assemble, to speak, to assert our rights even when the means of our expression are unpopular.
But even if none of my hopes are realistic, he was very clear in his point that freedom means we can disrespect, and disagree, and protest. The Constitution is clear; that's why the First and Second Freedoms are so important, and why it's important that the next generation understand what 'freedom' really means.
America isn't undermined because some first-year teacher tramples the flag.
America is undermined when our young people grow up fearing our government. We don't have to respect (for example) the representatives which 'other people' have elected, contrary to our wishes.
I know that I don't respect a lot of our Congress-critters. I didn't vote for them, but they were elected fairly; I'll protest THAT, and then I'll accept it.
But I respect the system which gives us a choice, even if I have to hold my nose to vote for some of them.
America is a country which gives us hope. Not a lot of countries can claim that.
America is a country which accepts dissidents, and protest, and disrespect.
That's what I fought for. That's what I came home to.
It makes me proud to know that I live in a country where a teacher can defile the flag, and the worst consequence is that some people call him unkind names.
I won't be one of those people; I think this teacher earned his pay by teaching a very difficult lesson.
Well, except that he spoiled it all by demanding that the student who took the photo be punished; perhaps this teacher wasn't quite as convinced that the rights to free speech extend to the students as well as to the teacher.
Well, the teacher is young; he'll learn as much from the experience as did his students, I expect.
If the student doesn't get an "A" in the class, then I will have lost all of my respect for the teacher!