If this teacher was aiming to make a vivid and lasting impression, he did.
But he may well lose his job as a result.
In December, Scott Compton, an honors English teacher at Chapin High in Chapin, South Carolina, was trying to teach his students that America “is greater that the material objects that represent it,” according to his attorney Darryl Smalls.
Compton sought to generate discussion “using a powerful symbol with which all his students would be familiar,” Smalls told the Columbia State newspaper. “He made only positive comments about America throughout the lesson.”
But the Lexington-Richland district spokesman Mark Bounds told the paper, “The actions that occurred are unprofessional and not consistent with the standards of our district.”
After a parent complained about the teacher removing the flag off the wall and stepping on it, Compton was suspended with pay. He taught at the school for seven years.
Superintendent Stephen Hefner didn’t find a problem with the ninth and 10th grade English teacher’s lesson on how ideas should be greater than symbols, but instead was appalled with the bad judgment Compton used in defacing a U.S. flag to make his point, district spokesman Mark Bounds said.
“I was in the military 20 years. I will defend your right to burn an American flag in the public square to my death. But as a teacher, you cannot bring your personal biases into the classroom,” Bounds said.
–from Maureen Downey, for the AJC Get Schooled blog