An Illinois public school teacher has been placed on leave for the rest of the school year after allegedly placing an American flag on the floor of his classroom last week and stepping on it.

The teacher, who has not been identified, was apparently giving a lesson to students at Martinsville Junior/Senior High School about freedom of speech and expression, and used the flag as a prop.

Students reported the incident on Facebook, drawing national attention.

“We can’t figure out why he actually went to the simulations of actually doing it,” Jonathon Smith, a senior at Martinsville Junior/Senior High School, was quoted as saying by

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