Perspective: A WIS editorial on Scott Compton - wistv.com - Columbia, South Carolina |

Perspective: A WIS editorial on Scott Compton

A Chapin teacher who made national headlines when he stomped on an American flag in front of his students is now receiving an $85,000 settlement.

It's a complicated story involving free speech, patriotism, and the classroom. Scott Compton's attorney says the lesson on symbolism was misunderstood and Compton never meant any disrespect. But the whole matter generated a public outcry and the teacher received hate mail and even death threats. He was put on administrative leave and when the district hinted at firing him, his attorney threatened to file a lawsuit.

That's when the school district offered up a settlement. Already facing more than $30,000 in legal fees the district decided against defending the suit and instead offered $85,000 in cash and a recommendation for future employment.

We've heard from some of you  who say the teacher was exercising free speech. But more of you are upset, as I am, that this teacher is getting a nice chunk of change for what many consider  a disrespectful act in front of impressionable children.

At the end of the day - no one wins here: not the students, the teacher or the taxpayers who support the district. That's what I call an expensive lesson.

That's my perspective. What's yours?

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