Wanting to replace the image kids witnessed when their teacher had a meltdown and started stomping on the American flag, veterans in an Illinois community gathered this week for a grand show of patriotism.
“I’m very proud of these kids that have stood up for what they believe in,” Nicholas Gibson, father and Marine Corps veteran said.
“It should have never happened,” Gibson told WTHI News Tuesday.
An unidentified Martinsville teacher has been accused of trying to demonstrate America’s freedom by desecrating the flag earlier this week.
The teacher found out that while he may have had the freedom to stomp on the flag, he didn’t have the approval of his students, or the community.
“It’s just disgraceful that he did that in front of students who are just starting life,” Navy veteran Clifford Clouser told the station.
Clouser was instrumental in organizing parents, students, residents and veterans to take turns walking the American flag up and down the entrance of the Martinsville Jr./Sr. High School after the incident.
In a heartfelt interview with WTHI, Clouser explained why it was so important to him.
“[The kids] are going to form an opinion, and I didn’t want them to have that opinion, to disrespect the flag.”
Those who spoke with WTHI said they hope that the teacher is fired. A written statement from the school said the teacher has been placed on leave for the remainder of the year.
For Clouser, the incident hit home in more ways than one.
His grandson was in the room while the teacher allegedly stomped on the American flag. A flag that Clouser said he held above a busy overpass “from dawn till dusk” for three days straight after 9/11.
And of course, it’s the flag, he said, he and so many others, fought for.
“There’s just so much history in that flag.” he said.
Clouser’s entire interview can heard below and makes a fitting tribute for the Memorial Day weekend ahead.
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