[Update below the post on Compton's response]
Scott Compton, an English teacher at Chapin High School in Chapin, S.C. has been put on administrative leave after students detail his actions in classes where he took an American flag, threw it on the floor, and stomped on it while telling his students "‘This is a symbol, but it’s only a piece of cloth. It doesn’t mean anything."
One parent, Michael Copeland, said he heard his teenage daughter discussing the incident and asked her to tell him the whole story.
“He drew a couple of symbols, like one of them was a cross, and he said, ‘What does this represent,’ and everybody said, ‘Christianity,’” Copeland explained to WIS.
“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,” Copeland continued.
“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.”
The best response I have seen so far reportedly comes from Mark Bounds, a spokesperson for the school district:
“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,” Bounds added.
As well they should.
I am sure there are a number of active military and veterans, among many others, that would take offense at Mr. Compton's actions.
Chapin High School
300 Columbia Ave.
Chapin, SC 29036
Phone - (803) 575-5400
Fax - (803) 575-5420
School Web site: Akil Ross - Principal
[Update] Through his attorney, Compton claims he meant "no intentional disrespect to those men and women who served our country or to America itself ."