A Jefferson County Public Schools official said Dan Holden, a seventh-grade social studies teacher at Stuart Middle School, burned a small flag in each of his two classes.
Officials said he told administrators he was trying to motivate his students for a weekend writing assignment on the freedom of speech.
The school district didn't find out about it until a reporter asked questions the next day, the report said.
Officials said they have received only one complaint, none from parents.
However, officials said there are two important issues involved. One is the safety of students in regard to having an open flame in the classroom. The other is the propriety of burning a flag.
"The issue is the possible endangerment of children by having an open flame in the classroom," School District representative Lauren Roberts said. "That is definitely a safety issue. And then also the issue of the actual burning of a flag and the symbolism of that is highly offensive to many people. And could there have been a better way to have demonstrated those concepts to those students without going to that extreme?"
The district has contacted fire officials and said Holden could face criminal charges.
Holden has been a teacher in Jefferson County schools since 1979 and has been at Stuart Middle School since 2001. He has no disciplinary record.
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