I didn’t write about this when it first happened a few weeks ago because TSO covered it rather well while he was wearing his peaked American Legion cap at The Burn Pit. But the Huffington Post called tonight and they want me on their Huff Post Live program tonight (at 7:30pm, Eastern time) to discuss the issue.
But, it seems that Scott Compton, who has been an English teacher in Chapin High School in South Carolina for 12 years. Apparently, he was trying to make the point that symbols are less important than the ideals behind those symbols by stomping on the flag while “talking glowingly” about the United States. From the Huffington Post;
Neither Compton nor his lawyer Darryl Smalls, returned messages from The Associated Press. Last week, Smalls emailed a statement to WIS-TV, saying Compton was trying to show the idea of what America stands for is greater than the material objects like the flag that represent it. He said several members of Compton’s family have served in the military and they fully support him.
Frankly, I’m tired of hearing or reading about people who hide behind the service of their antecedents when they misbehave in some way that is disrespectful to actual service. Unless you make the sacrifices yourself, you don’t understand it.
The Huff Post Live producer who I talk with tried to defend Compton with his First Amendment right of free speech. I told her what I tell everyone – the Bill of Rights was written to protect us from the government, not from each other. So the First Amendment really doesn’t apply here unless you want to call the school board our government.
Given the state of our current education system, I’m sure there was something else Compton could have been teaching. I’m not sure what this little demonstration was doing in English class, anyway. When I took English in 9th & 10th grade, it was about literature, not a civics lesson.
I’m sure Compton is a competent teacher, but he made a really bad decision to make this theater part of his classroom instruction. And who knows what other stuff he’s done in his classroom that we haven’t heard about. He could have made his point by stomping on a Hezbollah flag, but I think he’d probably be in hiding for fear of the retribution. If he wanted to make a point about symbols, he could have drawn a cartoon depicting the prophet Mohammed and suffered the consequences of that poor decision.