SC teacher who stomped flag gets payment

Tuesday, May 7, 2013

CHAPIN, S.C.  — A Chapin High School teacher removed from the classroom when he stomped on an American flag while discussing freedom is being paid $85,000 to avoid a legal challenge.

The State newspaper obtained documents under the Freedom of Information Act that show Scott Compton is being paid the settlement by Lexington-Richland District 5, in addition to his salary through June 7.

The school district would not disclose his salary. Teachers with his 12 years of experience are paid between $43,000 and nearly $60,000 annually.

The documents also show that the district will pay attorney fees of nearly $32,000 for Compton.

Compton resigned as part of the settlement after criticism about his actions last December. The payments were not disclosed when Compton’s resignation was announced March 27.

“Prior to his resignation, attorneys for Mr. Compton informed district attorneys that he had prepared a complaint for filing in federal court,” Lexington-Richland 5 spokesman Mark Bounds said.

Bounds said the insurance company decided to offer a settlement rather than deal with the expected legal fees from a lawsuit.

Compton’s lawyer, Darryl Smalls, would not talk about the settlement.

Compton has agreed not to pursue a legal challenge to how school officials sought his dismissal by seeking damages for claims that include defamation, emotional distress and breach of contract. Superintendent Stephen Hefner had sought to fire Compton.

The school district has no standards for treatment of the flag, but school officials said Compton violated conduct expected of teachers.

Compton issued a statement that he did not intend to be disrespectful but wanted to promote discussion on how the nation is more than its symbols.

Neither the school district nor Compton admit any wrongdoing. Records show he is guaranteed a letter of recommendation for future employment.

Compton also can seek unemployment benefits without any objection from the school district.

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