You likely could do this in the street and not be arrested, but should you be able to do it in the classroom and keep your job?

The answer in eastern Illinois is "no." That's where a teacher has been fired for stepping on a small U.S. flag during a lesson.

The Mattoon Journal-Gazette reports the Martinsville School District board has voted 6-0 to fire English teacher Jordan Parmenter. The district had placed Parmenter on leave after this May 15 incident:

Parmenter has said he was teaching a planned lesson on freedom of speech May 15 when he used the small U.S. flag in the room as a pointer for a chart.

One of the students in this class stated that using the U.S. flag as a pointer is disrespectful, Parmenter said. The teacher said he then made what he says was the rash decision of dropping the flag to the floor and stepping on it to illustrate an example of free speech as part of the lesson that day.

Parmenter has not yet commented about losing his job, but did write a letter of apology that he submitted to the school board. He told the paper he plans to speak to his union representative about the termination.

Martinsville is about 80 miles southeast of Champaign near the Indiana state line.

Should Parmenter have been fired after this incident?