In the UK, fears over branding in schools revolve around academy sponsors and snack machines. But in Columbus, Ohio, the concept has taken a new turn.
Last week, it was reported that science teacher John Freshwater had been sacked after branding a crucifix shape into a pupil's arm during a lesson.
Mr Freshwater claims he was only demonstrating a science tool known as a high-frequency generator, and had intended to burn an "X" into the child's skin. Which would, of course, be fine.
The board for Mount Vernon Middle School voted unanimously to sack the teacher, who has also been accused of preaching creationism and Christianity, refusing to remove his bible from the classroom and teaching that carbon dating was unreliable to discredit evolution.
But several students said Mr Freshwater was "a great guy" and a favourite teacher.
He is expected to appeal against the sacking.