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.
Tuesday, May 21 2013 11:43 PM EDT2013-05-22 03:43:46 GMT
As of 8:15 p.m. Tuesday, the Deep East Texas area has suffered little damage in an evening storm.The Nacogdoches Fire Department has reported trees down on US 59, just south of the loop.Rumors of a tornadoMore >>
As of 8:15 p.m. Tuesday, the Deep East Texas area has suffered little damage in an evening storm.More >>
Tuesday, May 21 2013 7:07 PM EDT2013-05-21 23:07:16 GMT
The stars were lined up over two Nacogdoches participants in the Lighten Up East Texas challenge. They each won major prizes in the six-month regional weight loss program. One is driving a new a car, anotherMore >>
The stars were lined up over two Nacogdoches participants in the Lighten Up East Texas challenge.More >>
Tuesday, May 21 2013 6:48 PM EDT2013-05-21 22:48:48 GMT
An investigation into several burglaries in the Woden and Melrose communities has led deputies with the Nacogdoches County Sheriff's Office to three arrests and a seizure of drugs, several thousand dollarsMore >>
An investigation into several burglaries in the Woden and Melrose communities has led deputies with the Nacogdoches County Sheriff's Office to three arrests and a seizure of drugs, several thousand dollars worth of tools, counterfeit cash and fake Social Security cards.More >>
Tuesday, May 21 2013 6:37 PM EDT2013-05-21 22:37:26 GMT
A Jacksonville resident and a group of volunteers worked through the night Monday and all day Tuesday to organize a local donation site so East Texans would have a place to show their support and helpMore >>
A Jacksonville resident and a group of volunteers worked through the night Monday and all day Tuesday to organize a local donation site so East Texans would have a place to show their support and help those affected in Moore, Oklahoma.
Tuesday, May 21 2013 6:19 PM EDT2013-05-21 22:19:47 GMT
Shortly after the closing arguments in day two of the trial for the 21-year-old Garrison man accused of robbing a Nacogdoches barber back in July 2012, a jury found Timothy Blanton guilty of aggravatedMore >>
Shortly after the closing arguments in day two of the trial for the 21-year-old Garrison man accused of robbing a Nacogdoches barber back in July 2012, a jury found Timothy Blanton guilty of aggravated robbery.More >>