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.
Saturday, May 18 2013 6:23 PM EDT2013-05-18 22:23:41 GMT
The National Weather Service says there is a slight risk for severe weather on Sunday, and isolated tornadoes and supercell storms are possible.The threat for severe weather will continue into Monday.StormsMore >
The National Weather Service said there is a moderate risk for severe weather on Sunday, and isolated tornadoes and supercell storms are possible.More >
Saturday, May 18 2013 2:27 PM EDT2013-05-18 18:27:31 GMT
Students are calling the death of a Harrisonville teen a rude awakening. Troopers said 16-year-old Savannah Nash pulled in front of a semi Thursday at Missouri Highway 7 and Walker Road. Savannah wasMore >
The deadly accident near Harrisonville is an opportunity for parents to talk to their teens about texting and driving, but now several smartphone companies have created apps that could put a stop to some of the dangerous behavior.More >
Saturday, May 18 2013 6:57 PM EDT2013-05-18 22:57:19 GMT
It can be a little disconcerting spotting a wild animal in your backyard, but it's happening more and more lately. People in Mission, KS, said they're seeing coyotes near their homes – something that'sMore >
People in Mission, KS, said they're seeing coyotes near their homes - something that's becoming so common the city is offering advice on how to avoid them.More >
Friday, May 17 2013 7:16 PM EDT2013-05-17 23:16:53 GMT
One person has died in a crash near Harrisonville, MO, Thursday evening. The crash happened on Missouri Highway 7 and Walker Road. It involved a car and a tractor-trailer. Harrisonville is in Cass County.More >
Savannah Nash celebrated her 16th birthday last week. She died Thursday when her car slammed into a semi while she was texting during her first time driving by herself.More >
Friday, May 17 2013 4:52 PM EDT2013-05-17 20:52:00 GMT
An 11-year-old girl is recovering after a distracted driver hit her and then fled.She is recovering at Children's Mercy Hospital with a broken arm, ruptured ear drum and fractured pelvis. Her family isMore >
An 11-year-old girl is recovering after a distracted driver hit her and then fled.More >
Saturday, May 18 2013 6:04 PM EDT2013-05-18 22:04:56 GMT
One child was sent to the hospital when a go-cart they were riding in collided with an SUV Saturday afternoon. Police said the wreck happened about 2:30 p.m. in the area of 55th Street and Cambridge Avenue.More >
Two children were sent to the hospital when a go-cart they were riding in collided with an SUV on Saturday afternoon.More >
Saturday, May 18 2013 7:38 PM EDT2013-05-18 23:38:11 GMT
It's the largest Powerball jackpot in history and Saturday night everyone's talking about the record $600 million prize. Locally, a Dearborn couple made Powerball history in November by winning half ofMore >
It's the largest Powerball jackpot in history, and Saturday night everyone's talking about the record $600 million prize.More >
Friday, May 17 2013 6:47 PM EDT2013-05-17 22:47:09 GMT
Imagine suffering a medical emergency in a foreign country, half a world away. It happened to a man from Overland Park, KS, in Japan. Now, his family is trying to come up with a way to get him home whereMore >
An Overland Park family is trying to raise enough money to get their son back to the U.S. from Japan after he suffered a massive stroke in the other country.More >
Saturday, May 18 2013 2:55 PM EDT2013-05-18 18:55:42 GMT
It's a game of skill and chance and the best part is it was designed by two Kansas City natives. Now they're hoping their early success pays off. It may look like just a game, but to Ryan Drews and MaxMore >
A local group of friends have created a new board game they hope to have on store shelves soon. The game's goal is to grow a city and defeat your enemies.More >