WARRENSBURG, Mo. — They say actions speak louder than words.
A schoolteacher from Johnson County, Missouri is drawing attention after making a lewd gesture toward the White House. He did it while chaperoning a trip endorsed by the local school district.
The Hammond family spoke exclusively with FOX 4 News. They say it was embarrassing and it showed no respect.
John Hammond says his 14-year old daughter, Corrine, was one of nine students who went on a school-endorsed trip to Washington D.C. last week. While students were outside the White House on June 2nd, one teacher, Mr. Lynn Miller, who was serving as a chaperone, snapped a photo of himself making an ugly gesture toward the White House.
“It was very rude,” Corrine Hammond told FOX 4 News on Thursday morning.
Corrine Hammond says Miller, who works as a science teacher at the middle school, told students at the airport in Kansas City that he planned to “give the finger” to the White House. Ms. Hammond says no students witnessed the gesture in person. Instead, Miller advised students to go to his Facebook page, where he’d posted the photo.
“I was surprised because it was very disrespectful of him to do that,” Hammond told FOX 4 News.
Miller has since taken the photo off his social media account. A new profile photo replaced it on Tuesday afternoon.
John Hammond, who says he served 23 years as a U.S. Marine, says his daughter shouldn’t have seen this at all. Hammond, a father of three, says he expects a stronger example from teachers.
“To me, it was about respect,” John Hammond said.
“This is blatant disrespect, to me, my kids, to everybody. People have gone crazy with it, but to me, it’s all about being held accountable for your actions.”
Warrensburg School District leaders say this wasn’t a school-sponsored trip. John Hammond says that’s not true, because families learned about the trip, which was coordinated through a tour group called World Stride, via the school system and a series of presentations that advertised the trip.
“I just think he needs to apologize for what he did. That’s it. I don’t want to see him get fired for the mistake he made,” Corrine Hammond said.
Dr. Scott Patrick, the superintendent of Warrensburg Schools, says thus far, Miller hasn’t been disciplined for the gesture or for posting the photo. He didn’t say if that may change.
FOX 4 News reached out to World Stride twice on Thursday, but the company didn’t respond to our messages. As for Miller, his wife says he’s out of town, and unavailable for comment.