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.
Friday, August 29 2014 8:08 AM EDT2014-08-29 12:08:03 GMT
Officials continue to search for the man who beat and robbed a woman during a home invasion in Yazoo City on Monday night. According to her family, 85-year-old Jeanelle Fratesi answered her front doorMore >>
According to her family, 85-year-old Jeanelle Fratesi answered her front door for a person she thought needed help.
Thursday, August 28 2014 9:33 AM EDT2014-08-28 13:33:06 GMT
SPARTANBURG COUNT, SC (WYFF) - Fifteen children living in a double-wide trailer were put into protective custody and seven adults were arrested, according to the Spartanburg County Sheriff's Office. DeputiesMore >>
Fifteen children living in a double-wide trailer were put into protective custody and seven adults were arrested, according to the Spartanburg County Sheriff's Office.More >>
Friday, August 29 2014 12:15 PM EDT2014-08-29 16:15:03 GMT
Jackson police have a man in custody in a deadly stabbing at a retirement home. It happened just after 4 on Friday morning at a retirement community on Briarwood Drive. Police say Charles Davis confessedMore >>
Police say Charles Davis confessed to killing his roommate and has been arrested.More >>
Friday, August 29 2014 2:48 AM EDT2014-08-29 06:48:23 GMT
The cheerleaders' uniforms at Northwest Rankin High School do not fit with the school's dress code. Administrators say they are too short. The Rankin County School District says Northwest Rankin'sMore >>
The cheerleaders' uniforms at Northwest Rankin High School do not fit with the school's dress code. Administrators say they are too short.More >>
Friday, August 29 2014 6:43 AM EDT2014-08-29 10:43:37 GMT
(WMC) – A protest is going on at Rosa Fort High School in Tunica, Mississippi where people are upset over the firing of a principal. There are more than 100 people marching from the school to the superintendent'sMore >>
More than 100 students are protesting the dismissal of their principal by walking out of school. More >>
Tuesday, August 26 2014 9:27 AM EDT2014-08-26 13:27:00 GMT
A Jackson Prep football player hospitalized following Friday night's game has died. Walker Wilbanks was transported Friday to the hospital during the second half of the school's home football game againstMore >>
Pressler says Walker's death was an "unfortunate freak event" revolving around the balance of sodium and water in the body. He says it had no reflection of being over or underhydrated.