Middle School Teacher Receives Death Threats After First Amendment Lesson

“It saddens me that people have taken such a negative turn”

The ongoing Colin Kaepernick saga has shown that Americans are much more focused on adherence to patriotic rituals than considering their actual meaning. People have become irate over his refusal to stand for the national anthem instead of saluting him for challenging us to live up to its ideals. This week, there’s been another example of Americans confusing patriotic symbols with their meanings after a teacher was suspended for his lesson on the First Amendment.

Lee Francis, a history teacher at Massey Hill Classical High School in Fayetteville, North Carolina, has received death threats for teaching his students about the Constitution. During his lesson on Texas v. Johnson—a Supreme Court case that upheld the right to burn the American flag—he jokingly asked his students for a lighter, and when no one responded, he dramatically dropped the flag on the ground and stepped on it.

“I put the flag on the ground and I took two steps with my right foot and I said, ‘This is an example of free speech,’ ” Francis said. “Two students got up and left immediately with no word, no disruption at all...I assumed something had happened. One student came to where I was and took the flag from me.” Francis’ demonstration was an attempt to show that our freedom of speech is so vast, it even protects us when we protest our own government. Unfortunately, the school parents were so deeply offended by his actions that he’s been suspended without pay pending an investigation.

After the story hit the news and social media, Francis has received hundreds of hateful responses, has been called ethnic slurs, and even received death threats—all in the name of teaching his students about freedom. “Ironically enough, I feel like I was being a good American citizen by telling the students about the rights granted to them by the highest court in the country,” Francis told The Washington Post on Wednesday. “It saddens me that people have taken such a negative turn.”

via David Leavitt / Twitter

Anyone who has ever worked in retail knows that the worst thing about the job, right after the pay, are the unreasonable cheapskates who "want to talk to your manager" to get some money off an item.

They think that throwing a tantrum will save them a few bucks and don't care if they completely embarrass themselves in the process. Sometimes that involves belittling the poor employee who's just trying to get through their day with an ounce of dignity.

Twitter is rallying around a gal named Tori who works at a Target in Massachusetts after she was tweet-shamed by irate chapekate, journalist, and Twitter troll, David Leavitt.

Keep Reading

Childbirth is the number one reason American women visit the hospital, and it ain't cheap. In fact, it's getting more and more expensive. A new study published in Health Affairs found that the cost of having a baby with employer-sponsored health insurance increased by almost 50% in the past seven years.

The study evaluated "trends in cost-sharing for maternity care for women with employer-based health insurance plans, before and after the Affordable Care Act," which was signed into law in 2010. The study looked at over 657,061 women enrolled in large employer-sponsored health insurance plans who delivered babies between 2008 and 2015, as these plans tend to cover more than plans purchased by small businesses or individuals.

Keep Reading

A meteorite crashed into Earth nearly 800,000 years ago. The meteor was 1.2 miles wide, and the impact was so big, it covered 10% of the planet with debris. However, scientists haven't been able to find the impact site for over a century. That is, until now. A study published in the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences journal believes the crash site has been located.

Tektites, which are essentially rocks that have been liquefied from the heat of the impact and then cooled to form glass, help scientists spot the original impact site of a meteor. Upon impact, melted material is thrown into the atmosphere, then falls back to the ground. Even if the original crater has disappeared due to erosion or is hidden by a shift in tectonic plates, tektites give the spot away. Tektites between 750,000 to 35.5 million years old have been found in every continent except Antarctica.

Keep Reading