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.
Monday, June 17 2013 3:06 PM EDT2013-06-17 19:06:38 GMT
A registered sex offender in Connecticut was arrested Saturday on charges of aggravated sexual assault and kidnapping.Christopher Baker, 43, was arrested at his Taffville home late Saturday night. He wasMore >
A registered sex offender in Connecticut was arrested Saturday on charges of aggravated sexual assault and kidnapping.More >
Monday, June 17 2013 8:26 PM EDT2013-06-18 00:26:52 GMT
New Britain police are investigating a deadly overnight shooting. According to police, the shooting occurred around 11:45 p.m. Sunday near 15 Kelsey Street. When officers arrived on scene they foundMore >
A Meriden man was arrested in connection with a fatal shooting in a residential neighborhood that left one man dead late Sunday night.More >
Monday, June 17 2013 12:05 PM EDT2013-06-17 16:05:01 GMT
Members of the Connecticut State Police Gang Unit arrested four men Friday and said they seized a combat shotgun with a 20-round drum, and a .22 caliber rifle.Police said the gang unit had been investigatingMore >
Members of the Connecticut State Police Gang Unit arrested four men Friday and said they seized a combat shotgun with a 20-round drum, and a .22 caliber rifle.More >
Monday, June 17 2013 12:38 PM EDT2013-06-17 16:38:25 GMT
Connecticut State Police said they're looking for a man who walked away from a halfway house in Brooklyn Sunday night.State police said Joseph Giles, 37, left the Brooklyn Bridge Halfway house around 7:30More >
Connecticut State Police said they're looking for a man who walked away from a halfway house in Brooklyn on Sunday night.More >
Thursday, June 13 2013 8:10 PM EDT2013-06-14 00:10:10 GMT
An 82-year-old good Samaritan who has been giving free haircuts to the homeless for 25 years has been kicked out of a Hartford park by city health officials. Anthony Cymerys is known as "Joe the Barber."More >
A good Samaritan who gave haircuts to the homeless in Hartford was recently asked to stop after it was determined he was "not a licensed barber," according to the Connecticut Department of Health. However because of his generosity, local officials granted him special dispensation to continue his services.More >
Monday, June 17 2013 8:51 AM EDT2013-06-17 12:51:15 GMT
A 25-year-old contestant from Connecticut has won the title of Miss USA in Las Vegas. Erin Brady won the beauty pageant at the Planet Hollywood hotel-casino last night after strutting in a white sparklyMore >
A 25-year-old Connecticut resident has won the title of Miss USA in Las Vegas.More >
Monday, June 17 2013 6:10 PM EDT2013-06-17 22:10:34 GMT
Route 10 in Simsbury is closed in both directions after a gas leak Monday afternoon.The leak occurred around the 300 to 400 block of Hopmeadow Street around 3:15 p.m. The cause of the leak remains underMore >
Route 10 in Simsbury was closed in both directions after a car crashed into a building and caused a gas leak Monday afternoon.More >
Monday, June 17 2013 9:24 PM EDT2013-06-18 01:24:23 GMT
Searchers have scaled back efforts to find a commercial photographer who went missing last week after telling his wife he was heading to Connecticut's Housatonic River to retrieve a lost bicycle. DennisMore >
A candlelight vigil was held Monday night for a well known wedding photographer from New Milford, who disappeared Tuesday around the river's Lake Lillinonah.More >
Monday, June 17 2013 5:43 PM EDT2013-06-17 21:43:35 GMT
Members of the New Haven Police Department announced that after a lengthy investigation, several arrests have been made in a string of robberies at Radio Shacks across the state.Police from eight townsMore >
Members of the New Haven Police Department announced that after a lengthy investigation, several arrests have been made in a string of robberies at Radio Shacks across the state.More >
Monday, June 17 2013 5:22 PM EDT2013-06-17 21:22:42 GMT
Search teams have pulled their boats along the Farmington River after a two day search for a 33-year-old woman.Rachel Greene disappeared around 2 a.m. Saturday morning when a raft she was riding on hitMore >
After more than 48 hours, search teams continued their search along the Farmington River in Collinsville after a 33-year-old woman went missing Saturday.More >