"The issue is the possible endangerment of children by having an open flame in the classroom," School District representative Lauren Roberts said. "That is definitely a safety issue. And then also the issue of the actual burning of a flag and the symbolism of that is highly offensive to many people. And could there have been a better way to have demonstrated those concepts to those students without going to that extreme?"I'd say you've already screwed up your effort to prosecute him for the fire violation. The man, Dan Holden, has been teaching since 1979. He was trying to get the students excited about free speech. He could have just said something inflammatory, like "I hate the American flag and everything it represents." But real fire does excite kids, and it probably did spice up a subject they were inclined to think of as dull. But, I think, the retribution against their teacher is an even more attention-getting lesson.
How should the school deal with this? Use it for more education. Stage a debate about free speech, flag burning, and what should happen to a teacher who burns a flag in class to get students excited about free speech issues. And don't punish the teacher.