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Lee Francis, a high school history teacher in Fayetteville, North Carolina, was suspended in September for stepping on the American flag during an in-class demonstration teaching students about First Amendment rights.
As a result of the decision by Cumberland County Schools Superintendent Frank Till, Jr. to suspend Francis and remove him from the classroom, Francis’ future as an educator was left in limbo.
Now, after two and a half months and nine hours of testimony, we finally have a decision from the Cumberland County school board on his fate.
Francis joined Roland Martin on NewsOne Now to discuss the decision and what is next for him.
The school board upheld the educator’s 10-day suspension without pay as punishment for stepping on the American flag in a 5 – 2 vote. Francis told Martin the school board members in attendance voted along racial lines.
According to Francis, two African-American school board members were not present for the hearing or vote for undisclosed reasons and the board only heard testimony from a student who objected to the in-class demonstration.
Upon the completion of Francis’ 10-day suspension, he will return to working in the warehouse until the end of the year.
Francis said, “He’s [Superintendent Till] made it clear for the last several weeks that he has no intention to try to put me back into the classroom.”
As for his teachers’ license, that continues to be an unresolved issue. “We have not had any response” from the school’s superintendent about the status of his license, he revealed. “I am in complete limbo.”
Watch Roland Martin and Lee Francis discuss the decision to uphold his 10-day suspension without pay in the video clip above.
If you are interested in supporting Francis during his suspension, please visit his GoFundMe page https://www.gofundme.com/31rjvuw.
PHOTO CREDIT: Getty