In January, Chapin SC made national news when they considered firing high school teacher Sean Compton after he taught a class on symbolism. Over 4 classes in the same day he taught that certain items like a cross or a flag are merely symbols of the ideas that people love. Destroying the symbol doesn't destroy the idea. And with that he would stomp on the American flag. How, as his lawyer explained, "Mr Compton meant no intentional disrespect to those men and women who served our country or to America itself" makes me wonder how Mr Compton would expect people to show disrespect to the country? I mean if you're not going to do it symbolically, are you supposed to meet all 300 million citizens and flip them off?
But pressing on, I said in January that you can't fire the guy for stomping on the flag. You could fire the guy over having a stupid class. "My client was trying to create a forum for discussion using a powerful symbol". Great. That lesson will come in handy on the 12th of never. This isn't some liberal arts college discussing how things make you feel. This is high school. Teach them the history of the flag. Some of them may need a lesson on how to spell flag.
But they didn't fire him for stupid lesson plans. They suspended him, with pay, while they tried to figure out what to do to get out of this controversy whirlwind they created. So Mr Compton got a half year of salary for sitting on his tush. Then the big announcement in April that he would resign. Chapin just has to keep on paying him his regular salary till June 7th and it would all be over. Finally the people could rest easy. The honor of the flag was defended and we wouldn't need to go to court and have a messy public brawl over the matter.
But today we learned that the reason Scott Compton is resigning is because Lexington-Richland District 5 is giving him $85,000. The school district is also paying his $31,400 attorney fee. In other words, the school district has rewarded the man with a 6 month paid vacation and eighty five grand. Any teacher near retirement age in Lexington-Richland 5 who now wants a cash infusion for their 401k simply needs to just stomp on a flag. The school district has muffed this thing up so much that rather than serving as a deterrent, it seems to be an encouragment to stomp the flag!