Chapin High teacher appeals recommended firing

tflach@thestate.comJanuary 25, 2013 

— Chapin High teacher Scott Compton is asking the Lexington-Richland 5 school board to overturn the firing recommended for his stomping of an American flag during a classroom lesson.

The seven-member board will decide as soon as Monday when to hear the appeal, school spokesman Mark Bounds said Friday.

Compton requested the appeal occur in a private session, Bounds added.

The closed-door session for Compton’s appeal is occurring “due to the threats and intimidation directed toward him and subsequently to his family and supporters,” said Darryll Smalls, his lawyer. “A public hearing would only add to the emotional nature in which many people are viewing this story.”

Compton’s action in three classes last fall has stirred a furor in the community in northern Lexington County.

Educators and military veterans are split on whether he should be dismissed as superintendent Stephen Hefner recommends.

There is no standard for treatment of the U.S. flag in Lexington-Richland 5, but school officials say Compton violated conduct expected of teachers.

Treading on the flag was not intended to be disrespectful, Smalls has said.

It was an effort to promote discussion in three honors English classes on how the nation is much more than its symbols, he has said.

His defenders call firing too harsh for a well-intentioned mistake. Critics call his action unpatriotic.

Compton is on leave with pay pending the outcome of his appeal.

Reach Flach at (803) 771-8483.

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