CHAPIN, S.C., May 7 (UPI) -- A South Carolina school district said it agreed to pay $85,000 to a former high school English teacher who resigned after stomping on a U.S. flag during class.
The settlement was paid to Scott Compton in order to avoid a legal challenge to the Lexington-Richland 5 district firing the teacher in January after the December flag-stomping incident, The State of Columbia, S.C., reported Monday.
"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," said Lexington-Richland 5 spokesman Mark Bounds.
Compton challenged his dismissal and sought damages for defamation, emotional distress and breach of contract. Since he challenged the firing, he was still an employee at the school, though on leave.
The district said Compton violated the school's code of conduct when he stomped on the flag. Compton said he had not intended to be disrespectful and his stomping on the flag was an attempt to show students the nation is more important than its symbols, The State reported.
In addition to the settlement, the school agreed to continue paying Compton through June 7. The district didn't reveal Compton's salary, though Chapin High School typically pays teachers of his experience between $43,340 and $59,647 per year, The State reported.