A high-school principle has come under fire for a class study about free speech that involved placing the US flag on the floor.
Principle Eric DeLuga of York Community High School in Chicago, Illinois, attempted to begin a discussion on the difficulties of the First Amendment – but instead sparked a backlash when an angry student shared an image of the grounded flag online.
Taking offence at the project, angry parents and alumni lashed out at the school and the principle for the disrespectful treatment of the flag.
A high-school principle has come under fire for a class study about free speech that involved placing the US flag on the floor
A furious Tyler Weber posted the image online, posting: ‘So what f****** point are you trying to make here – this world is getting more and more f***** up.’
The alleged flag desecration was in fact a recreation a the 1989 Dread Scott exhibition ‘What is the proper way to display a US flag?’ and was hoped to instigate a discussion about the protected rights surrounding freedom of speech.
Defending the discussion, principle DeLuga said: ‘The purpose of the forum was to explore the complexities of the constitutionally protected right of free speech by examining real cases.
‘The York display did not intend to disrespect the flag, the military, or the government; rather, it was used for students to reconcile their feelings about current issues and whether their 1st Amendment rights are protected.’
However, some angry Facebook users were not convinced, with one commenting: ‘This is just plain disrespectful. I was taught at a very young age the flag should never touch the ground.’
Adding: ‘I am so upset at this sorry excuse for educating today’s youth.’
‘I am appalled at this form of teaching,’ another alumni wrote on Facebook.
‘You say that this in no way was mean to be disrespectful, but in all reality it most certainly was.’
The principle said in a statement: ‘Our staff and students will learn from this week’s lesson, and we will make changes to this forum in the future to ensure we do not disrespect our flag.’
In a statement, York Community High School said: ‘On Tuesday, September 26, York Community High School’s entire sophomore class explored First Amendment rights as part of a day-long, interdisciplinary forum that centered on banned books, music, social media and the American flag.
‘We ask our students to think critically about issues relevant to them and our society. At the same time, we understand that this demonstration caused some angst in the larger community and for that, we deeply apologize.’
The principle added: ‘Our staff and students will learn from this week’s lesson, and we will make changes to this forum in the future to ensure we do not disrespect our flag.’