Flag-stomping teacher awaits decision on continued employment

| January 17, 2013 | 60 Comments

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.

Category: Schools, Shitbags

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  1. Debbie says:

    As a military brat, I find his behavior extremely offensive and inexcusable. My father and my family sacrificed enormously and he is taking what represents to me and MILLIONS of brats and stomping us into the ground in the name of academic freedom. So be it, that’s what I, and my father and my family, sacrificed for, right? As a teacher I find it reprehensible and approaching the battering of students. Fire his ass!

  2. Common Sense says:

    If he had stomped on the flag outside of school, on the street or in his own yard, then that’s the 1st Amendment at work, not matter how disgusting. However, he did it at his place of employment. He may have a right to stomp on the flag as a form of speech, but his employer also has a right to fire him for it. Just like he has the right to call his principal a nasty name which, in the real world outside of public schools, would also get him fired.

    I have to disagree with “I’m sure Compton is a competent teacher”. I doubt he’s a competent teacher. My kids went to a large suburban high school in an upper middle class neighborhood and I could count the number of competent teachers that they had on one hand. My son’s English teacher his senior year spent all of his time being buddies with his students instead of teaching them anything. They sat around and talked about feelings and drug use and made fun of my freedom-loving, patriotic son. They didn’t complete one single reading assignment the entire year. But man, he was voted as Favorite Teacher by the students. Well sure, who wants to do any work in school?

    My kids learned far more from me than from most of their teachers – combined. My life long regret is that I didn’t homeschool them.

  3. obsidian says:

    The man needs a blow job worse than any white man I know.
    >Robin Williams<
    Back when I was a kid, any teacher stomped on an American flag would have every Boy Scout in the room kicking his can down the road.

  4. B Woodman says:

    I KNOW that there are better less destructive ways to make that particular point. I thought of 3 or 4 while just reading the article (and I’m not a teacher). And I understand the point he was trying to make. Really, I do. That said, can his ass.

  5. NHSparky says:

    If you’re going to use something as a prop, you might want to reconsider using the American flag.

    Then again, some asshat up at UMaine-Farmington pulled similar shit a couple of years ago, and when questioned about it (was a school project by a student), one of the professors said it was “only a piece of cloth.”

    I wish he had said that to a veteran.

  6. Ex-PH2 says:

    Only a piece of cloth?

    All flags, national or whatever, are the descendants of banners, guidons and blazons carried into battlfields by the esquires of mounted knights. Those, in turn, are the descendants of pole-mounted banners and medallions carried by the Roman army with the SPQR and the eagle at the top. And it probably goes back much further than that. The Red Dragon of Wales is the oldest known flag in the world. The second oldest is the Dannebrog, the state flag of Denmark. The oldest in continous use is The Saltire, of Scotland.

    They were all a means of locating battlefield leaders and fellow soldiers. They were also directional signals and rallying points. Any foot soldier or cavalryman could pick up a fallen guidon and raise it to rally soldiers in a Roman century (100 men) or cohort (6 centuries).

    If a flag is so unimportant, then why is it that every goatherding crank in the Middle East cooks up a flag and colors when attacking a defenseless outpost like Battallion of Blood and their flag did with the BP station in Algieria?

    Maybe that teacher should have a long, angry discussion in person with the Taliban. They have a flag, too.

    Flags were not and are not just a piece of cloth.

    Oh, I am getting SO TIRED of these slimy pigs who spit on my country.

  7. FatCircles0311 says:

    “He said several members of Compton’s family have served in the military and they fully support him.”

    Oh well then, that makes it totally ok and legit!

    Libtard logic at it’s finest.

  8. NHSparky says:

    And I’m sure those “several members” wouldn’t mind stepping up and saying so, Mr. Compton.

    Until then, you’re blowing smoke out yer ass.

  9. UpNorth says:

    “Oh, I am getting SO TIRED of these slimy pigs who spit on my country”. Ditto, Ex.

  10. OWB says:

    Would he do the xame thing to the flag of any other country on Earth?

  11. Green Thumb says:

    What an idiot!

    I wonder what point he was trying to prove?

    Loser.

  12. USMCE8Ret says:

    @10 – Were he to do that to any other flag, there would be OUTRAGE because of cultural insetivity.

    OUR flag represents something a little more to me. Symbolic, yes – and not just a piece of cloth. I’ve placed it in the hands of a grieving family member at funerals, and witnessed them firmly grasp it and hold it close and dear. I’ve had close friends coffins draped over them, as a symbol of the sacrifice they made in defense of the very country it represents. I’ve seen it fly at sea and on land in countlesss foreign countries as a symbol of the country I believe I was defending. When I look at it, I think of home, and the greatness in which this country was founded.

    I well up at taps, too. Not too many things can envoke such emotion in a guy like me like the flag does. Too sentimental, I guess?

  13. USMCE8Ret says:

    Should be “insensitivity”. (Dammit!)

  14. Ex-PH2 says:

    @12 – ‘Too sentimental, I guess?’

    Ain’t no such thing.

  15. ObamaGirl says:

    I guess none of you have ever made a mistake, quit wrapping yourselves in the flag and complementing each other on how patriotic you all think you are and let it go.

  16. Green Thumb says:

    @15.

    Go away amd play.

  17. NHSparky says:

    OG…go suck start a Howitzer.

  18. BooRadley says:

    I’m sick of teachers who think everything has to be dramatic and ridiculous in the first place.

  19. Just Plain Jason says:

    You know this is why my wife and I spend money on a private school.

  20. USMCE8Ret says:

    @15/ObamaGirl – Judging my your moniker, there is no doubt you ever served, never committed yourself to anything worthwhile, and simply hate this country…so we don’t expect you to know anything that’s being discussed here.

    Like #16 said: “Go away and play” Grown ups are having a discussion here.

  21. Veritas Omnia Vincit says:

    When some idiot college student does this I am perhaps a tiny bit more forgiving, a dumb4ss kid doesn’t always understand all the ramifications of their actions.

    A degreed teacher with 12 years of employment does not engender the same level of empathy for stupidity. This man knew exactly what he was doing, being some jack4ss who never spent a minute in the dreaded private sector he has been coddled by leftist flakes for his entire career. If you want to play in the big leagues d1ckhead expect to strike out, a lot, in your next place of employment perhaps you will understand some basic physics along with your english lessons, for every action there is an equal but opposite reaction….he made his play let him lose his job.

  22. 2/17 Air Cav says:

    The nature of symbolism is that its value is not intrinsic but representational or reflective. A symbol reflects an idea or a thing. When one desecrates a symbol, he desecrates that which it represents. No doubt we wouldn’t bat an eye if the symbol selected to be stomped by this Compton fellow was a pair of miniature golden arches or a bunny rabbit incessantly beating a drum. But he chose neither. He chose Old Glory. According to the interviewed parent, Compton first drew a cross on the blackboard and asked what it represented. “Christianity,” came the replies. He then took an American flag, dropped it to the floor and stepped on it saying, “It’s just a piece of cloth.”

    Just a piece of cloth? A rag is just a piece of cloth. So is a bath towel. Old Glory is not and never has been just a piece of cloth. It’s value is not to be found in its material composition. He meant to teach the nature of symbolism and he evidently did not understand what he was teaching, let alone how best to teach it.

  23. 2/17 Air Cav says:

    @20. Obamagirl is yesteryear’s Joey. I would include Insipid, too, but he is at least somewhat educated and articulate but remains a horse’s ass. Obamagirl used to be a frequent flyer here but may have been locked up for a while and unable to access the net.

  24. Veritas Omnia Vincit says:

    An internet troll is that 4sshole that attends every party, gets drunk and starts doing stupid sh1t within an hour of arriving. No one takes that person seriously or considers their words with any weight….the anonymity of the internet is a fine substitute for alcohol in revealing their character.

  25. ObamaGirl says:

    @20 guess again I was an MP in the National Guard and did a tour in Iraq so thanks for playing.. Judging by how much you pat yourself on the back for your service you were likely some kind of a paper pusher who likely never even deployed to 29 palms..

    @23 I was in Vancouver for most of the summer researching orcas for my PHd program, I am sure you color pictures of Orcas in your GED program.. I recently returned to Jersey to help Hurricane Sandy victims, something I am sure you and most of your conservative friends have no ability to comprehend helping people who are victims of a disaster. To you they are all just lazy freeloaders looking for a handout and welfare queens. But of course as soon as you need help you all consider yourselves deserving of a government help.

  26. OWB says:

    Would those who hold that this idiot “teacher” has the Constitutionsal right to express himself by stomping on the US flag in a publicly funded classroom be just as supportive of him had he been armed in that same classroom? Either display is equally protected by the US Constitution but neither is without potential consequences from the employer.

  27. O-4E says:

    @25

    Why do you even bother posting here?

  28. Veritas Omnia Vincit says:

    @25 Perhaps in that doctorate program you missed the part where a debate involves an exchange of ideas. If you felt the gentleman in question was exercising his rights and made a mistake, you are are certainly free to express that idea.

    The manner you choose to enter a discussion is up to you, it’s clear what manner you chose at response 15. That defines your attitude, and it defines how people perceive an appropriate response to you. Since you like making generalizations and appear to be only capable of providing hyperbolic rhetoric, most responses reflect that approach.

    Of course it’s entirely possible I missed the weight of your argument in favor of the teacher’s actions in response 15, after all not all of us are doctorate students.

    Perhaps in your haste to remove sand and debris you are too tired from your humanitarian efforts to explain how someone tasked with the responsibility of educating his students in the subtleties of the English language should avoid being disciplined for behavior that is wholly inappropriate to the task at hand? No need to use small words, while most of us might no be doctorate students engaged in summer research, some of us are still fairly articulate and keep up with a complicated discussion.

  29. USMCE8Ret says:

    @25 – National Guard MP that deployed to Iraq? Vancouver studying whales…PhD? Helping “Sandy” victims? (Sounds to me like the only person patting themselves on the back is you.)

  30. DLM says:

    @25, what unit did you deploy with, when and where were you stationed?

  31. Jacobite says:

    @25
    You were a split tail part time doughnut muncher in the sand box eh? Big deal.

    Coloring Orcas for a GED, cute. Let’s see, Wally Amos – GED recipient, Peter Jennings – GED recipient, Ben Night horse Campbell – GED recipient, Richard Carmona – GED recipient, Ruth Ann Minner – GED recipient, Dave Thomas – GED recipient, etc, etc, etc. And then there’s you. You’ve done what with your life and the cute little PhD so far (and ya, it’s PhD, or Ph.D., not PHd genius, lol)?

    Kudos to you OG, you chose to pursue a career in science, one of the crappiest, and crappiest paying jobs out there, yep, wanting to play with sea creatures makes you the intellectual superior of everyone here.

    You recently returned to Jersey to help Hurricane victims? Well bless your heart sweetie, what exactly did you do, and for how long? After returning from Iraq, my guys and I spent 9 weeks helping in the 9th Ward in New Orleans after Hurricane Katrina, daily log cutting, trash removal, shoveling and care giving, and guess what, I dealt with a TON of “lazy freeloader looking for a handout and welfare queens”. And no, when I need help, I help myself. It’s the way my parents were taught, it’s the way they taught me to operate, and it’s the way I’ve taught my own children to operate. Go peddle that welfare pap elsewhere.

  32. ObamaGirl says:

    @30 Camp Hurricane in Ramadi 2003-2004 Florida National Guard

  33. Anonymous says:

    I don’t know about you guys, but I spend my spare time helping to wipe out the homeless.

    (Activate Sarcasm Recognition Software now)

  34. JBS says:

    The Colors of this Nation, the American Flag, is considered a living entity. No one would throw their mother on the floor and stomp on her just to prove a point. If this “teacher” didn’t know any better before, chances are he does now. And he should of done a hell of a lot more research before taking on this lesson plan. And if you have ever served, this should offend you greatly!

  35. Hack.Stone says:

    33 was me. I was too busy wiping out the homeless to enter my name.

  36. NHSparky says:

    OG–I thought you were going to college in NYC paying doing Human Sexuality Studies? You know, the $40K/year major of, “boys have a penis, girls have a vagina.”

    But then again, playing with Orcas would be right about your speed, although as previously noted, it’s Ph. D., not PHd. Educational FAIL.

    Old Glory is not and never has been just a piece of cloth. It’s value is not to be found in its material composition.

    Perhaps you should take that quote and tattoo it on your fucking forehead backwards, so every time you look in the mirror to put on your makeup with a spackle gun and trowel you can actally READ and UNDERSTAND what we’re driving at here.

  37. ObamaGirl says:

    @36 What is wrong with making 40k a year? I guess I shouldn’t be surprised just another conservative belief that a persons value is based on how much money they make. Not everyone was born on third base like you.

  38. NHSparky says:

    Actually, where you claimed to be going to school previously was about $40K/year. I would imagine the degree you got would qualify you for a job making about $30K/year.

    Nothing wrong with that, until you consider the cost of living in NY/NJ.

    And frankly, me, third base? BWAAAAHAHAHA!!! I was as country-ass as it gets. My first job was bussing tables in a Mexican restaurant for $1.50/hour. Nothing wrong with that. My first job after HS paid a whopping $695/month as a Navy E-3, and I thought I was rolling in it.

    No, sweetheart, I have no problem with the amount of money someone makes. I DO have a problem with someone who thinks that because they sheltered themselves in academia for a few more years than someone else they’re somehow “entitled” to a better job, better pay, etc., even though they don’t know shit. Like you and your little OWSie buddies.

  39. BK says:

    A PHd is a degree that is strong enough for a man, but PH Balanced for a woman.

  40. JDC (OUT FRONT) CAV says:

    Wasnt this about some dingle berry stopping on a flag? Please agree to disagree and focus your anger at the shit for brains that deserves it

  41. BK says:

    In thinking about this, I would prefer he not hide behind the service of family members. “I drove by the recruiting station once, it makes us practically bros.”

    But on the other hand, if he didn’t intend disrespect, and was doing it for shock value, I don’t know. I don’t know what the dynamics of his classroom are. I don’t know what the average grade range of his students are. Hearing what his lesson was, that he was saying wonderful things about the country, while stepping on the flag, confounds the issue, at least for me.

    I mean, look at Kid Rock. Guy loves the troops, loves America, but wears a flag poncho that by my standards and I imagine that of the Legion, is a well-intentioned, but ultimately disrespectful no-no. Does he face the same opprobrium?

    So I don’t know. He missed the part where his veteran relatives explained that in some cases, like with the flag, the symbol is as important as what’s behind it. Try walking into a synagogue and burning the Torah scrolls. “They’re just words, it’s just a symbol! It’s not as important as the meaning behind it!” It wouldn’t wash with anyone. I don’t know why the flag’s sacred symbology is so hard for fellows like this, when there are plenty, I’m sure, analogous symbols of considerable import that he wouldn’t dare step upon.

  42. 2/17 Air Cav says:

    BK: I believe that you do know. You are struggling to give him some out but he’s a big boy, an experienced educator, and, now, a certified knucklehead.

  43. Knees2TheBreeze says:

    @42 I find it amusing you call anybody a knucklehead.

  44. Yat Yas 1833 says:

    Libtards, maybe you should consider that the largest majority of us here served the country that “piece of cloth” represents. Maybe you should consider that we’re gonna hold that “symbol” in a little igher esteem than most other folks because of it.

    OG, what does your PH.D. in “orca” have to do with the price of rice in China? I have an MBA! Does that make me any better than anyone else? Not in the least! You come in here with attitude and that’s exactly what you’re gonna get back.

  45. 2/17 Air Cav says:

    @43. Happy to amuse you. Are you on parole now or pilfering time on the warden’s computer.

  46. Hondo says:

    Knees2TheBreeze (or would that be DeWald?): I find it amusing that you were able to find someone willing to help you spell “amusing” and “knucklehead” correctly. Did they have to explain to you what those words meant, too?

  47. 2/17 Air Cav says:

    Hondo: Knees and Obamagirl on the same day. What do you make of that?

  48. Hondo says:

    God, I hope they’re not “playing house”. Talk about hearing “Dueling Banjos” in the background at the maternity ward . . . .

  49. Hondo says:

    Well, we’re probably safe. They’re posting from locations over 100km from each other by road.

    Of course, that’s only a bit over an hour’s drive – so the human race could well be at risk.

  50. 2/17 Air Cav says:

    So, it’s coincidence? Or perhaps they are meeting midway, reducing their drive time by half, and connecting here from Motel 6.

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