How's your outrage quotient today? A teacher in South Carolina who stomped on an American flag to demonstrate freedom in America and subsequently was forced to resign, has agreed not to press a legal challenge in his case in return for a settlement of $85,000.
Lexington-Richland 5 paid former Chapin High teacher Scott Compton √ $85,000 to avoid a legal challenge, part of a settlement that led to his resignation after he stomped on an American flag during a class lesson.
The payment is on top of Compton's salary that will be paid through June 7, even though he has been out of the classroom since December. School officials did not provide Compton's salary Monday, but their plan pays teachers with his 12 years' experience $43,340 to $59,647 a year.
Lexington-Richland 5 taxpayers also will foot the bill for more than $31,500 in attorney fees, records obtained by The State newspaper under a state Freedom of Information Act request show.
The $85,000 payment was described as "a compromise and resolution of disputed claims," the records say.
It was not disclosed as part of Compton's resignation, announced March 27, a decision that the settlement says is for "family and personal reasons" not spelled out.
"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.
"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."
Stomping on an American flag is not the way most of us would have demonstrated how free we are in the US. Let's face it - the teacher jumped the shark by doing so. Defacing, burning, or otherwise mutilating the flag is not a criminal act because, as the teacher explained at the time through his lawyer:
Compton's lawyer says he stomped the flag to show the idea of what America stands for is greater than the material objects like the flag that represent it and that the teacher did not intend to show any disrespect to military members to the country.
This is true. But there are other ways to demonstrate the concept without the teacher personally disrespecting the flag.
By any measure of justice, the teacher should not have been paid $85,000 just to avoid a legal battle. He's getting his salary anyway so the "settlement" is just gravy.
Maybe he could donate the 85 grand to the ACLU.