South Carolina High School Teacher Disgraces American Flag In Front Of Students



Chapin SC(Courtesy Of WISTV) A South Carolina teacher is under scrutiny after he took the American Flag and threw it on the ground and commenced to stomping on it, in his honors english class. He repeated this action in front of three different classes on the same day.

When Micheal Copeland, parent of one of the students and a Veteran, overheard his teenager speaking about what her teacher did he pressed her for more details.

“He drew a couple of symbols, like one of them was a cross, and he said, ‘What does this represent,’ and everybody said, ‘Christianity,'” said Copeland.


“Then he proceeds to take down the American flag, and said, ‘This is a symbol, but it’s only a piece of cloth. It doesn’t mean anything,’ and then he throws it down on the floor and then stomps on it, repeatedly.”


South Carolina is a very patriotic state, and this also took place not far from Fort Jackson, the nations largest basic training facility. So if this teacher,Scott Compton, thought their wouldn’t be any consequences, he had another thing coming.

“Our superintendent served in the military, I served in the military for 20 years, our flag is a symbol of our freedom, and so many people have fought and died for that liberty, and so we take this action very seriously,” said Mark Bounds, a spokesperson for Lexington-Richland 5.

“There is a code of ethics for teachers that talks about professional conduct, and then we tell our teachers that their personal opinion is their personal opinion and shouldn’t be brought into the classroom, and so we caution them all the time,” said Bounds.

Copeland believes telling students the 50 stars symbolize the 50 states, the red and white stripes, symbolize the original 13 colonies might have been a better way.

“He totally ignored what I consider what would have been an excellent teaching point to just simply throw the flag down and show no respect to it at all and to the people that it means a whole lot to,” said Copeland


Here is a link to the video on this story: – Columbia, South Carolina |


He has since been removed from the classroom and the superintendent is seeking his termination, according to the reporter I spoke with who covered this story.

Lexington-Richland School District Five spokesperson Mark Bounds said the district’s investigation into the matter is over. Dr. Stephen Hafter will soon make the recommendation to the school board to fire Chapin High School teacher Scott Compton.


The district placed Compton on administrative leave after parents characterized his lessons as disrespectful and unpatriotic.

But he has also hired an attorney, and here is what his attorney had to say, again courtesy of Jason Old reporter for

CHAPIN, SC (WIS) -The attorney for a Midlands high school teacher accused of stomping on an American flag in front of his honors English classes says his client meant no disrespect.


Darryl D. Smalls says 12-year teacher Scott Compton was attempting to show his classes that America is an “inspirational idea,” greater than the “material objects that represent it,” during a lesson on symbolism.


“He made only positive comments about America throughout this lesson,” wrote Smalls in an emailed statement to WIS. “The version of events currently circulating is incomplete.”


“He meant no intentional disrespect to those men and women who served our country or to America itself,” continued Smalls. “Several members of his family served in the Armed Forces and they have his total support given all of the facts of the lesson.”


“Many people have rushed to vilify my client based on one segment of the story related through a secondhand account,” wrote Smalls. “My client has had an exemplary twelve year teaching career and was only trying to create a forum for discussion using a powerful symbol with which all his students would be familiar.”


Lots of good men and women have died under Old Glory, and yet we have those like this teacher and of course the Westboro Baptist creeps who continually disrespect her. I am not sure how this is going to play out, they are seeking his termination, but can they do this legally? I  am not sure how a school board works, but do know that it was found as freedom of speech when WBC was brought to court over the flag.

It may be free speech or expression, whichever you want to call it, but in my opinion it is totally UN-American and UN-Patriotic. Should teachers be allowed to do this in High Schools, or should they be held to a higher standard, as they do mold our children into what they will become.

Again thanks to Jason Old and who broke this story, and here are links to the originals
Chapin High Teachers Flag Lesson Prompts District Investigation

Teachers Attorney Responds


What are your thoughts?
36 comments on “South Carolina High School Teacher Disgraces American Flag In Front Of Students
  1. If he broke their code of ethics they can fire him, because they have a viable infraction on their set rules. So then it’s not an issue of 1st Amendment etc.

  2. This is a slippery slope. While I personally disagree with disrespect to my country’s flag in such a manner, it is still one’s choice to perform such an act. I don’t believe he should be doing something like that in front of young children, maybe when they’re older and might have a better chance to see a metaphor in his lesson. I also don’t agree with teaching that makes children blindly patriotic. America isn’t a perfect country and we’re not innocent. Both side is the story should always be told, and told truthfully.

      • Nick the problem is that we that have served, did so so that others may express their ideas, voice their opinions, freely…You are aboslutely right in that you should be prepared to support your words or actions in a CIVIL manner. When we hold the physical materials in higher regard than the sentiment that they represent then we have stomped all over everything we served to protect and belittled that sentiments very meaning and purpose. I don’t like the people that do things like this, however the supreme court over the past 30 years has basically said it’s just cloth…the idealism which it stands is the important thing that can NEVER be damaged physically…the monuments and idols can be replaced.

  3. So no 1st amendment rights in this state just 2nd? As a vet I deplore it but as a vet I protected his right to do it. He wasn’t chanting ‘Death To America’ or making threats.

    • your freedom of speech does not ensure you keep your job, only that you are not prosecuted. If I tell my boss to go F*** himself, the 1st amendment protects me from being arrested but not fired.

  4. There seems to be a common misconception that the 1st Amendment applies to the teacher keeping his job. The first amendment ensures you are not prosecuted for expressing your ideas, not that you get to keep your job. If I cuss out my boss I am protected from prosecution but not termination.

    • Nick the first amendment is supposed to protect you from PERSECUTION as well not just prosecution…losing your job for flag desecration is not right….now losing your job for being an asshat is perfectly acceptable…they have their regulations requiring professional behavior at all times…he did not behave in a professional manner.

  5. Um Ian, where did it say anything about the 2nd Amendment? This may or may not be a 1st Amendment issue, but that depends on the code of conduct that the teacher agreed to when he was hired. As a Veteran myself, I’m sick and tired of people throwing the fact that they are Veterans just to try and gain some credibility. As far as the Amendment issue goes, it only protects you from persecution from the Federal government. It does not protect you from individuals, corporations, or contracts.

  6. you know if it was me I wouldnt have gone to such an extreme just to prove a point about symbols I fought for my country proudly people might say he’s un-patriotic and a descrase and what not but they seem to forget the meet & patatoes of what he was trying to convey the flag is just a pice of cloth after all its just a symbol of what is in our hearts and you can not stomp on a way of being after all this man does have rights aswell I dont think he should loose his job ir be hung out to dry just because someone got their feelings hurt you will hear this time and time again from many vets such as myself I dont agree with what this man did but I did fight for his freedom to do it and for any civilian who dosent quite get it I think they should fight for their freedoms so they can understand their freedom every man woman & child has the right to express themselfs theis kids where in honors class just as my daughter is they have good heads on their shoulders with some thought anyone can see what the man was trying to say

  7. I love your website and what you guys stand for. That being said, spelling and grammar checks are key to be taken seriously. I have heard people on Facebook and other places say that the military is full of uneducated hicks and thugs. Now, I resent that as I know it isn’t true. I happen to know some very well-educated soldiers and Marines, and I myself am educated. I know I’m not perfect either, but please help prove the detractors wrong and fix the glaringly obvious errors. Represent yourself well, and more will follow you.

    • Wow really Mark? I looked through it, and the only real errors I saw were the ones from the quoted text. Text which they used from the original story. Would you mind pointing out such “glaringly and obvious errors?”

    • So you make a comment to correct someone’s grammar? How about being a little more polite and sending them an email. I mean with the work these guy’s do here, a little more respect would be nice. Just saying….(grammar)

  8. Just one more thing to add to my ranting from earlier. If said school is in such an uproar about the flag being discrased. Has the thought crossed their minds to decommision said flag and properly destroy it seeng how it did touch the ground. Probably not just saying

  9. 1st amendment rights only cover freedom of speech, not actions. The moment he threw the flag on the floor he broke the law and made it worse by stomping on it.

    18 USC subsection 700 (a)(1) – “Whoever knowingly mutilates, defaces, physically defiles, burns, maintains on the floor or ground, or tramples upon any flag of the United States shall be fined under this title or imprisoned for not more than one year, or both.”

  10. So what your telling me Eric is that military tradition is breaking the law? If so why do we as the military keep the things we do in the truck on all post’s?

    • First off, there is nothing in the truck or at the bottom. That is a myth. Second, in keeping with the myth, destroying a flag to keep it from falling into enemy hands is not defilement, mutilation, or defacement.

  11. You try that shit in front of me and I don not care, I will serve my time, But I will beat you till you are begging for death,
    This is why america is failing, because the educators are all mental deranged, put that peace of crap in any ones shoes that has died by that flag and see if he can take it, EMS, Fire,Police, Military any field and he will get a new understanding for that it really means after you lay your friends in the ground.

  12. It has been quite a few years since most of you sat in a high school classroom. Today, students are not as attentive, or respectful of their instructors as they have been in the past. We are in an age where teachers need a ‘shock factor’ in order to grab their students attention, and convey a deeper message to their class. There may have been a better way to do this, but what’s done is done.

    Though I do not like what the teacher has done, it certainly was not intended to show any disrespect to our country, or those who fought and died in its defense. If it were, there are far more offensive ways he could have used to get that point across.

    I have buried both family members and friends that were killed in action. Their sacrifice is in no way diminished by a flag being trampled on. Especially being trampled upon for the sake of an English class. My pride and gratitude can never be fully represented by a tangible item. My pain and sense of loss cannot either.

    As a Veteran, and the daughter of two parents that both served in the ARMY, I firmly believe the situation was misinterpreted and blown out of proportion. There are many times in our lives when certain people do, or say things that we do not like, or agree with. That’s life. That’s America. That’s freedom.

    • Bullshit–should you burn a Koran to teach about tensions in the Middle East? Needing shock factor is no excuse to do something that will obviously offend a large portion of people.
      There is no way you can say it was “CERTAINLY was not intended to show any disrespect to our country” just as no one else can say clearly what the intended result was. What we can say is that any intelligent person knows these actions are likely to offend and this teacher did it anyways.

      • This was nothing more than a simple lesson on symbolism. He proves that the flag itself is not what makes America what it is.If he were trying to push his beliefs on those students, that’s one thing. Yeah, he knew it would offend them, but that was not the motive. There is a bigger picture here.

        Not to mention: Before this incident, those kids probably didn’t even realize there was a flag in that classroom at all.

        THAT offends ME.

  13. Ya know, that the teacher was probably trying to get across with symbols was no matter what he does to the symbol the idea behind it is still strong. No matter how hard he stomped or ruined it it doesn’t change the way people feel about said symbol. The idea of America is still as strong no matter how many times you destroy the symbols of our great nation. A good lesson. It also shows how much we are attached to our symbols as rallying points and identifiers. Maybe he went a little extreme with stomping on the flag but if this was his lesson I applaud it.

    And before I get any hate about not knowing how much it means to the military, my father served a a Marine in Vietnam, both grandfathers were Marines, one in WWII and the other in Korea and my husband served in OIF1 & OIF3. I have a deep an abiding respect for our military and the flag but I don’t feel that immediate knee jerk reactions are a good thing. I honestly don’t see a teacher desecrating the flag just for shits and giggles.

  14. ” I don’t like the people that do things like this, however the supreme court over the past 30 years has basically said it’s just cloth…” would be absolutely right, except for the fact that he was acting in the capacity of an educator… and not merely expressing an anti-American sentiment.

  15. “Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion, or prohibiting the free exercise thereof; or abridging the freedom of speech, or of the press; or the right of the people peaceably to assemble, and to petition the Government for a redress of grievances.

    doesn’t really seem to apply here… but while we’re talking about freedoms here… as a vet, I diligently fought for those freedoms as well, and those students didn’t have the FREEDOM to go elsewhere… they were a legally captive audiance… and for that reason alone, he had NO right to “express his opinions”, or disrespect this nation to push his own feelings or beliefs.

  16. South Carolina is a right to work state…meaning that any employee can be fired at any time for any reason so long as the termination is not the result of discriminatory actions against protected groups of people as provided for by the Equal Employment Opportunity Act. Firing this guy is appropriate. People have been fired for other distasteful acts in other places…the guy made a wrong choice. Wrong choices have consequences.

  17. Knocking out this teachers teeth ……. my freedom of expression….. where is the line drawn. I am about fed up with the freedom of speech excuse. Accountability for one’s actions should trump whatever freedom on speech excuse is made.

  18. So many people yelling Freedom of Speech about this. The Constitution protects you from arrest for these types of actions. It doesn’t protect you from the consequences of your actions (Dixie Chicks, Jane Fonda anyone?) and it never has.

  19. Teaching kids to question everything around them… doesn’t sound like a terrible lesson to me. For too long we have blindly taught our youth to follow or die. To disrespect a piece of fabric is not the worst thing to be committed. The article cited even states that only a portion of the lecture is being used to vilify him. Should the ideals and lesson that he was trying to get across not be used as evidence, or because it “hurts our feelings” do we ignore that? If we choose to ignore that then we set our selves up for a Nationalism that will only ensure that the very symbol we so love becomes an agent to be used against the ideals it stands for.

  20. I am so glad that I do not know this teacher. If I heard of any teacher here in my childrens school I do not think that, that teacher would like me at all. I am sorry but this is something that you just don’t do. Yes, This is a peice of cloth. Yes, This piece of cloth is our flag. It represents our country and the many many men who fought to tirelessly to protect and defend it. It represents the many many men who died for our country. This is not something that is stated in the bible that means a false idol. This means to idol someone like obama instead of the father who created you and died for you. No this is mearly a representation of our country of what we hold so dear to our hearts. We hold it dear because so many died for our country to protect it in so many ways. If you do not understand this then you sir, are not by any means American. I am sorry that you were and are so misinformed by obama and his administration to actually disrespect the very country that makes you free to do so.

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