A teacher who stomped on an American flag has been paid $85,000 by his school district not to pursue a federal court case.
Lexington-Richland 5 school district paid former Chapin High teacher Scott Compton the money, plus more than $31,500 in lawyer fees and his salary (between $43,340 and $59,647 a year) to not pursue further legal action, The State newspaper reported
. The paper discovered the payment through a South Carolina Freedom of Information Act request.
The payment was not disclosed when Compton resigned on March 27, reportedly for "family and personal reasons."
"Prior to his resignation, attorneys for Mr. Compton informed district attorneys that he had prepared a complaint for filing in federal court," school district spokesman Mark Bounds told The State. Compton's lawsuit would have alleged "defamation, emotional distress and breach of contract."
"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.
The agreement also will allow Compton to receive unemployment and receive a letter of recommendation for seeking employment.
Compton stomped on the flag during a classroom lesson that he said was intended to show that a country is more than its symbols. That set off a furor, prompting Superintendent Stephen Hefner to seek to fire Compton. Hefner called the incident the latest in a pattern of poor judgment.
The State newspaper noted the school district has no standards for the flag's treatment, but that school officials say the act violated the expected conduct of teachers.
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