Teacher Who Stomped on American Flag Shouldn't Be Fired

Rant 24

A teacher in South Carolina has been placed on administrative leave and is being investigated after he allegedly stomped on an American flag in front of three different classrooms full of high school students. The deed was discovered after one of the students came home and talked about it with her father. When asked why he did that, the girl's father says she replied, "I don't know." Which is kind of sad. Wasn't she paying attention to the lesson? Yes, I'm all for teaching students independent thinking. It's a quality that is sadly lacking these days. There's nothing wrong with a teacher trying to explain that symbols -- such as the American flag, as well as the cross, which he also reportedly mentioned -- are just that. Symbols. That, in actuality, it's the meaning behind the symbol that is important. But I don't expect too many people to get that these days.

We only have the girl's word on what the English teacher, Scott Compton, was trying to get across with his demonstration. But the girl's dad, Michael Copleland, says the girl also said something about how the teacher said that "this is a symbol, but it’s only a piece of cloth. It doesn’t mean anything."

Well, in a way, he's correct. Soldiers don't go to war to fight for a piece of cloth. They fight for various ideals symbolized by that cloth -- such as freedom, democracy, etc. The cross is a symbol of Christianity. It's a symbol of values. Just because you step on a cross doesn't mean you're stepping on the values of Christians.

That said, symbols are extremely powerful. And the teacher should have known this. He should have known that stepping on a flag in front of a classroom full of kids was bound to draw some ire. Just as if he kissed a Nazi symbol, that would have drawn outrage. Maybe it's the subsequent outrage that he wanted -- so he could prove his point. Who knows.

Anyway, should this guy be fired? Not if he's a good teacher. No. They are too needed. In fact, people in the community describe him as a "good teacher." So what was he teaching by stomping on the flag? Will the kid in class who took notes come forward so we can know exactly what happened here?

Or maybe he should make everyone write an essay about how his stomping on the flag made them feel -- or better yet, how it made them THINK. If that's still allowed in school.

What do you think should happen to the teacher?


Image via CristianRH7/Flickr

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Doomy234 Doomy234

I think he should be on extended leave. It is disrespectful because it is a symbol, regardless of whether or not its just "a piece of cloth". The cross around your neck is just a piece of metal, but it still means something to you and you'd be upset if someone ripped it off and threw it on the ground and spit on it. Same thing. Although thats probably a bad analogy for a lot of people. Thats not the point. Regardless of what its made of it is still a meaningful symbol.

ethan... ethans_momma06


I don't really have a problem with it. I think we care to much when people 'disrespect' our flag by burining it, etc.

I think that he was attempting to create a learning environment that would engage them. That would catch their attention. He certainly did that. I'm not sure that there was malicious intent behind it, or anti-American intent, or inherent disrespectfulness.

cmjaz cmjaz

Its frustrating that he went to such extremes and this daughter still didn't pay attention.

belon... belongs2Jesus

not only fire her but but ship her out of America.

worms... wormspoop

@belongs2Jesus- The teacher was a male, lol.

kelti... kelticmom

belongs2Jesus, obviously you don't understand what this country is about. We don't "ship people out" because they do/say something we don't agree with. He did nothing illegal. You may not like it, I may not like it, but as an American citizen, he has every right to do whatever he wants with the flag. The United States Flag Code is only federally enforced when it pertains to Federal employees. Private citizens are not subjected under it. That's part of the First Amendment, and has legal precedent.

Caera Caera

Fire him.

Here's a specific example of "just cause it's legal doesn't make it ok".

As a former English teacher, if this is the best he could do to teach his class about symbolism, he's an idiot and shouldn't be teaching anyway.

Felly... FellyScarlett

I watched a documemtary once about white supremacists. They used an Israeli flag for a door mat and wiped their feet on it. I'm not Israeli but I am Jewish and it made me want to cry. Symbols are VERY important. Didn't you ever watch V for Vendetta?

Reepi... Reepicheep.CSL

Doesn't sound like a very good teacher to me. He couldn't get his point across using anything but an American flag? There are many symbols out there that are not so emotionally charged as our flag.

Sounds like he just wanted drama.

ethan... ethans_momma06


The reason that is upsetting is the intent behind it. This teacher, was not directing hate or disrespect toward anyone. There's a huge difference between the two, and the two actions.

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