An English teacher threw an American flag on the floor of his classroom and in front of the students, he stomped on it. After a parent complained, the school district launched an investigation into the matter.
Scott Compton taught honors English and during one lesson threw the American flag on the floor and stomped on it. According to students, Compton repeated the act in two additional classes.
Michael Copeland is the parent of a student in one of Compton’s classes. Copeland overheard his child talking about the event and he questioned that teenager about it.
Copeland stated that he questioned his child regarding more specific details. The teenager told her father that, “He [Compton] drew a couple of symbols, like one of them was a cross, and he said ‘What does this represent’ and everybody said, ‘Christianity’.”
“Then he proceeds to take down the American flag and said, ‘This is a symbol, but it’s only a piece of cloth. It doesn’t mean anything’ and then he throws it down on the floor and then stomps on it repeatedly.”
Copeland said he wanted to know what Compton was trying to teach, “I asked what was he trying to get, the point across? And she [Copeland’s daughter] said, ‘I don’t know’ and he [Compton] said his explanation was there would be no consequences, it’s just a piece of cloth that doesn’t mean anything.”
Compton went on to repeat the lesson in three classes that day. His actions prompted a full investigation by the school district.
The Lexington-Richland 5 school district spokesman, Mark Bounds stated, “Our superintendent served in the military, I served in the military for 20 years, our flag is a symbol of our freedom, and so many people have fought and died for that liberty, and so we take this action very seriously.”
“There is a code of ethics for teachers that talks about professional conduct, and then we tell our teachers that their personal opinion is their personal opinion and shouldn’t be brought into the classroom, so we caution them all the time.”
According to the school district, the teenagers in the classes were told that they would have a permanent replacement for Compton for the remainder of the school years.
Michael Copeland stated that he thought explaining the flag would have been a more useful lesson. A student should be taught that the 50 starts symbolize the 50 states, and the red and white stripes symbolize the original 13 colonies.
Copeland went on to say, “He totally ignored what I consider what would have been an excellent teaching point. To just simply throw the flag down and show no respect to it at all or to the people that it means a whole lot to was disrespectful.”
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