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Teacher removed after burning flags for lesson

Parents complain after Kentuckian’s talk on freedom of speech

LOUISVILLE, Ky. – A middle school teacher who burned two American flags as part of a civics lesson has been removed from the classroom.

Dan Holden, a seventh-grade social studies teacher at Stuart Middle School, burned the flags Friday as part of a lesson on freedom of speech, Jefferson County schools spokeswoman Lauren Roberts said.

The students were asked to write an opinion paper on the flag burning, Roberts said. The burning did not appear to be politically motivated, she said.

Holden, who has taught in the district since 1979, has been reassigned to noninstructional duties while the incident is under investigation.

Roberts said at least one parent complained to the district.

“Certainly we’re concerned about the safety aspect,” Roberts said, along with “the judgment of using that type of demonstration in a class.”

Pat Summers, whose daughter was in Holden’s class, said more than 20 parents showed up at the school Monday upset over the incident.

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