SC Teacher Stomps on Flag During Lesson, Facing Termination - UPDATE 2: GOT DAT MONEY!!!
The story is: An English teacher in a South Carolina school was teaching a lesson on symbolism. During his lesson (and other lessons that day), he allegedly threw a US Flag on the ground, said something along the lines of "This is a symbol of America. It is just cloth. This doesn't mean anything," and stomped on it. Students went home and complained to their parents, who immediately complained to the school. It looks like he has been suspended already and the superintendent is going to recommend he be fired to the board (I've seen claims that he has already been fired, but no sources or links have been provided).
I've read some opinions on it in a couple different places and was wondering what the thoughts were here.
I suppose I will state mine:
Absolutely ridiculous. He was teaching a lesson on symbolism and it obviously went right over the heads of his class and their parents (and this is supposed to be an honors class?! ). I fear that he was probably employed at will though and will not be able to fight it. His attorney claimed that "Compton wanted to demonstrate that the United States is an "inspirational idea" that is greater than any representation of it" and I believe that is an important lesson. He didn't say "**** you, America/Obama/Republicans/Tea Party/Whatever!!!" and stomp all over a flag (that was probably made in China), he had a point he tried to make about symbolism and hoped that there were critical thinkers in his class.
I read someone's comments who said that this isn't about not being offended, that the parents who got so angry "to the point of shaking" have the right to be offended. But after the offense, they should realize "Wow, I was offended. Huh, symbols ARE powerful."
I've read quite a bit of comments from veterans on Yahoo News or other places that allow comments, saying that they took an oath to defend the flag (the flag is not mentioned in the Oath of Enlistment at all) and that they would perpetrate violence on this man for doing this.
As a veteran myself: I have saluted the flag many times and since a law was passed recently that allows veterans to render a salute to the flag and during the National Anthem, I will continue to salute it. But this man's actions have not upset me at all. I never swore an oath in defense of the flag; I swore an oath in defense of the Constitution, which includes the First Amendment (which covers flag desecration). The ideals and beliefs that the flag represents are more important than the flag itself and the ideals and beliefs were not hurt or destroyed by this.
EDIT: I was hoping he wouldn't get fired, but I had a hard time finding any updates after the initial story broke. Apparently he did get fired, because he submitted his request for an appeal hearing to the school board. Update in post #178.
EDIT 2: Looks like he resigned in March, so he more than likely did not get fired. Anyway, kharvel provided an update in post 462:
The U.S. CONSTITUTION HAS WON!!! Under the threat of A TORT LAWSUIT for "breach of contract, defamation and emotional distress", the SC Flag-Stomping Teacher has become $85,000 richer, not including the salary he has been receiving while suspended.
This is precisely why we need tort lawyers. They're the only people standing in the way between a lynch mob and the United States Constitution.