Thursday, January 10 2013 10:07 AM EST2013-01-10 15:07:14 GMT
The attorney for a Midlands high school teacher accused of stomping on an American flag in front of his honors English classes says his client meant no disrespect.Darryl D. Smalls says 12-year teacherMore >>
The attorney for a Midlands high school teacher accused of stomping on an American flag in front of his honors English classes says his client meant no disrespect.More >>
Lexington-Richland School District Five made no decision Monday night on whether or not to terminate a teacher in the district who ignited a nationwide controversy after he allegedly threw down an American flag and stomped on it in front of his classes as part of a lesson.
District spokesperson Mark Bounds said the district's investigation into the matter is over. Superintendent Dr. Stephen Hafter has made the recommendation to the school board to fire Chapin High School teacher Scott Compton.
According to the South Carolina Teacher and Employment Dismissal Act, Compton has 15 days to respond to the request for termination. If he appeals, he has the right to a hearing before the board to prove his case.
The board discussed the matter behind closed doors at its packed meeting Monday night at Chapin High School. There was plenty of talk about the subject during the public comment portion of the meeting.
A retired Vietnam veteran, Tom Fincher with Chapin's American Legion Post, told the crowd he would like for the board to consider allowing a flag disposal ceremony to take place at the school's campus. He said that's the only way to bring closure to the issue.
"We're for anything that enhances respect for the American flag," said Fincher. "That flag we served under, died under. It is more than a piece of cloth."
Parents, on the other hand, said the closure they want to see is Compton removed from the classroom
"Based on this person's actions, this teacher is not a role model for my children," said one parent. "And is the epitome of who I don't want my children to grow up to be."
The district placed Compton on administrative leave after parents characterized his lessons as disrespectful and unpatriotic.
When Michael Copeland overheard his teenager talking about what her honors II English teacher did with the flag in their classroom, he pressed for details.
"He drew a couple of symbols, like one of them was a cross, and he said, 'What does this represent,' and everybody said, 'Christianity,'" said Copeland.
"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."
"I asked what was he trying to get, the point across? And she said, 'I don't know,' and he said, his explanation was there would be no consequences, it's just a piece of cloth that doesn't mean anything."
But there are consequences.
"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," said Mark Bounds, a spokesperson for Lexington-Richland 5.
Compton repeated the lesson in three classes that day, prompting a full investigation. After an unrelated incident at Dutch Fork where a teacher was suspended for a political sign in her room, officials say teachers know better.
"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, and so we caution them all the time," said Bounds.
Copeland believes telling students the 50 stars symbolize the 50 states, the red and white stripes, symbolize the original 13 colonies might have been a better way.
"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 and to the people that it means a whole lot to," said Copeland.
Tuesday, May 21 2013 10:58 PM EDT2013-05-22 02:58:13 GMT
The votes are in, and preliminary results show Chokwe Lumumba has come out on top in the Democratic Party Runoff Election against Jonathan Lee. With 100% of precincts reporting, Lumumba claims the electionMore >>
The votes are in and preliminary results show Chokwe Lumumba has come out on top in the Democratic Party Runoff Election against Jonathan Lee.More >>
Tuesday, May 21 2013 10:34 AM EDT2013-05-21 14:34:41 GMT
NOTE: Photos and videos will be added to this story later in the evening. The Walthall County Sheriffs Department along with The Humane Society of the United States are in the process of raiding a puppyMore >>
Among the dogs, many are dead, and skeletal remains were mixed with living animals in small, dark, filthy enclosures.More >>
Tuesday, May 21 2013 6:21 PM EDT2013-05-21 22:21:59 GMT
James Hutto interrupted his own capital murder trial Tuesday morning, angry that judge Bill Gowan decided against the admissibility of certain evidence. "None of that matters? F***. I don't give a f***More >>
James Hutto, accused of capital murder in the beating death of 81-year-old Ethel Winstead Simpson of Clinton, expressed anger over certain evidence in court Tuesday.More >>
Tuesday, May 21 2013 2:15 PM EDT2013-05-21 18:15:12 GMT
The two men battling for the chance to become Jackson's next mayor campaigned into the night as voters prepared to go to the polls for Tuesday's democratic primary runoff. On the WLBT 6pm report, we talkedMore >>
The two leading men battling for the chance to become Jackson's next mayor campaigned into the night as voters prepared to go to the polls for Tuesday's Democratic Primary runoff.More >>
Tuesday, May 21 2013 5:48 PM EDT2013-05-21 21:48:55 GMT
The storm system from Oklahoma is moving eastward Tuesday night. A Tornado Watch is in effect for Humphreys, Attala and Holmes counties until 10 p.m. Tuesday. The brunt of the action will stay northMore >>
The storm system from Oklahoma is moving eastward Tuesday night. A Tornado Watch is in effect for Humphreys, Attala and Holmes counties until 10 p.m. Tuesday.More >>
Tuesday, May 21 2013 6:35 PM EDT2013-05-21 22:35:19 GMT
The Mississippi Tea Party carried a nationwide protest of the IRS to the streets of downtown Jackson at high noon. The issue, IRS security of conservative groups like the tea party. We found some 20-25More >>
The Mississippi Tea Party carried a nationwide protest of the IRS to the streets of downtown Jackson at high noon. The issue is IRS security of conservative groups like the Tea Party. More >>
Friday, May 17 2013 7:16 PM EDT2013-05-17 23:16:53 GMT
One person has died in a crash near Harrisonville, MO, Thursday evening. The crash happened on Missouri Highway 7 and Walker Road. It involved a car and a tractor-trailer. Harrisonville is in Cass County.More >>
Savannah Nash celebrated her 16th birthday last week. She died Thursday when her car slammed into a semi while she was texting during her first time driving by herself.More >>
Monday, May 20 2013 11:48 PM EDT2013-05-21 03:48:15 GMT
A woman has been arrested after she allegedly locked her four young daughters out of their home for days at a time.A witness told police that the four girls, ages 7, 5, 3 and 1, had been in the same dirtyMore >>
A woman has been arrested after she allegedly locked her four young daughters out of their home for days at a time.More >>
Tuesday, May 21 2013 1:35 PM EDT2013-05-21 17:35:44 GMT
Linda Gale Reed is accused of stealing over $20,000 from her employer in Copiah County, Moore Fabrication. That's what led investigators to change her status from missing to wanted during their 2012 searchMore >>
Linda Gale Reed is accused of stealing over $20,000 from her employer in Copiah County, Moore Fabrication. That's what led investigators to change her status from "missing" to "wanted" during their 2012 search following her disappearance.More >>
Tuesday, May 21 2013 1:41 PM EDT2013-05-21 17:41:07 GMT
The Jackson Police Department is searching for two men who robbed a cell phone store Monday night. Shortly before 7 p.m., two male suspects entered the T-Mobile store at 4924 I-55 north. They robbedMore >>
The Jackson Police Department is searching for two men who robbed a cell phone store Monday night.More >>
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