A North Carolina school board upheld a 10-day suspension of a high school teacher who stepped on the American flag during a First Amendment lesson.
The Cumberland County Board of Education voted 5-2 Wednesday to support Superintendent Frank Till's decision. Board members considered Lee Francis' appeal for more than eight hours behind closed doors.
“My heart is broken, teaching is my life and love,” Francis told WTVD.
Francis’ attorney, Allen Rogers, told WTVD that he intends to appeal the decision.
Lee said he was teaching about a 1989 U.S. Supreme Court ruling that flag desecration is protected speech. Francis says he stepped on the flag several times with his right foot. His action was caught on a video recorded on a cellphone.
One of two students who left the classroom took the flag.