The South Carolina honors English teacher who lost his job because he threw an American flag on the floor and stomped on it in front of his students — in three different class periods — received a whopping $85,000 settlement.
The Lexington-Richland 5 school district made the disbursement to avoid a potentially costly federal lawsuit, reports The State newspaper in Columbia.
The teacher, Scott Compton, received the impressive payout in addition to the regular salary and benefits he has been receiving since he was placed on long-term administrative leave back in December. Compton will be paid through June 7.
While school officials did not disclose Compton’s salary, a teacher in the district with his 12 years of experience can expect to earn between $43,340 and $59,647 annually.
In sum, then, Compton has apparently has received $100,000 or more from the school district since December despite the fact that he has not taught a single class. Moreover, local taxpayers will also pick up the tab for nearly $32,000 in attorney fees generated by the flag-stomping and its aftermath.
Compton’s flag-stomping stunt was first reported by The Daily Caller and other news outlets in January. The English teacher’s goal, apparently, was to teach students that the flag is merely a symbol. (RELATED: South Carolina teacher on leave for stomping on American flag in front of class)
Parent Michael Copeland told local NBC affiliate WIS that he had heard his teenage daughter discussing the incident and asked her to tell him the whole story.
“He drew a couple of symbols, like one of them was a cross, and he said, ‘What does this represent,’ and everybody said, ‘Christianity,'” Copeland explained to WIS. “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.”
According to FITSNews, a South Carolina-based conservative news and entertainment website, people in the Chapin High community described Compton a “good teacher” who is “very liberal.”
Outrage in the local community was widespread when news of Compton’s antics first became public. One reason is Chapin High’s location, a short drive from the Fort Jackson, a United States Army installation where about half the country’s combat training occurs.
Records obtained by the Columbia, S.C., newspaper under a state Freedom of Information Act request call the $85,000 outlay “a compromise and resolution of disputed claims.”
“Prior to his resignation, attorneys for Mr. Compton informed district attorneys that he had prepared a complaint for filing in federal court,” school district spokesman Mark Bounds said, according to The State. “Based on financial considerations related to anticipated legal fees to defend such a suit, the insurer made the decision to make a monetary (offer) to Mr. Compton. He accepted the offer.”
The big win in the settlement for the school district is that it won’t face a lawsuit by Comtpon claiming — among other things — breach of contract, defamation and emotional distress. The district also admits no liability.
The high school teacher’s quid pro quo includes the assurance of a letter of recommendation to prospective employers and, if he so chooses, unemployment benefits. Compton also admits no wrongdoing.
In January, Superintendent Stephen Hefner’s recommended that Compton should be sacked and the school board had reportedly agreed. (RELATED: Flag-stomping South Carolina teacher appeals his firing)
However, Compton officially resigned in late March, which obviously suggests that he wasn’t fired after all. (RELATED: Teachers who stomped American flag, Jesus are officially no longer teaching).