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February 05, 2013 12:13 PM

Custodian Claims Flag Being Disrespected

sioux falls, sd

A Fort Pierre man says he was fired this week for standing up for the American flag.

The former custodian for the Stanley County School District says he lost his job on Monday after he posted pictures of a crumpled up flag on Facebook over the weekend.  The photos show an American flag and a South Dakota flag that was just thrown onto a shelf in the school's boiler room.

Cesar Zakahi says another janitor has been doing this since he started his job with the school nearly three months ago.  Zakahi says he's complained to the superintendent about the mistreatment of the flag, but when it kept happening, he put up this picture and asked people to call or email the superintendent so the flag would be folded properly.

"I told him he hadn't taken care of it yet. She's been doing this for two months and you guys won't do anything about it so I took the only means necessary to try to get her to stop doing it," Zakahi said.

Zakahi, who is still within his 90-day probation period, said the superintendent called him in Monday about the posting, said he overstepped his boundaries and fired him.

Superintendent Don Hotalling confirms Zakahi no longer works for the district, but said he can't comment because it's a personnel matter.  He says the Stanley County School District has not, and will not, disrespect the flag.

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