Attorney says S.C. teacher stomped on flag as part of lesson

By TIM FLACH | The State (Columbia, S.C.) | Published: January 11, 2013

CHAPIN, S.C. — A Chapin High School teacher who stomped on an American flag in classes last month did it as part of a lesson on symbolism, not disrespect, his lawyer said Thursday.

The action was an effort to convey symbolism by showing America “is greater than the material objects that represent it,” said Darryl Smalls, attorney for suspended teacher Scott Compton.

Compton sought to generate discussion “using a powerful symbol with which all his students would be familiar,” Smalls said. “He made only positive comments about America throughout the lesson.”

The Lexington-Richland 5 school board will decide Monday whether to dismiss Compton, an honors English teacher who has taught at the school for seven years.

Superintendent Stephen Hefner recommended the firing after complaints from parents and military veterans.

“The actions that occurred are unprofessional and not consistent with the standards of our district,” Lexington-Richland 5 spokesman Mark Bounds said.

School officials overreacted, Smalls said.

“The version of events currently circulating is incomplete,” he said.

Compton — on leave with pay — took a flag off the wall and stomped on it during three classes in mid-December.

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