A teacher in South Carolina who was removed from a classroom for stomping the American flag during a lesson is being paid $85,000 to avoid a legal challenge.
Scott Compton was giving a lecture on freedom at Chapin High School when the incident occured. He has not taught at the school since December.
According to documents obtained by The State under the Freedom of Information Act, Compton is set to receive $85,000 from Lexington-Richland School District 5 as “a compromise and resolution of disputed claims” in addition to his salary through June 7.
“Prior to his resignation, attorneys for Mr. Compton informed district attorneys that he had prepared a complaint for filing in federal court,” said Lexington-Richland 5 spokesman Mark Bounds.
Compton announced his resigned on March 27 citing simply “family and personal reasons.” The school district does not have any regulations on the treatment of the American flag, but Compton was in violation of a code of conduct put forth for teachers.
As a teacher of 12 years, The State estimated Compton’s salary alone to be between $43,340 and $59,647 a year.
The settlement means Compton agreess not to pursue any legal challenge regarding how school officials sought his dismissal in the wake of the flag-stomping incident. He cannot seek damages for claims including defamation, emotional distress, or breach of contract.
Lexington-Richland 5, as part of the settlement, has no liability in seeking to fire the teacher.
“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,” Bounds said.
Compton is also seeking unemployment benefits without objection from the school district.
Not everyone was happy with the settlement. Superintended Stephen Hefner, who supported the firing of Compton, said the flag stomping was just one of a string of poor judgment calls the teacher made.