Sunday, October 9, 2016

Puzzled and Disturbed

On Friday afternoon, I received a text message from one of my best friends, Phyllis, who I used to teach with in my first year. After I left, she and I have still maintained our friendship, and we talk about once a week. The text message simply said "Oh Dear God." I asked what was up, and she told me that I needed to check out a video that someone had shot at her former school, which was the school where my former students graduated from after having me at the Ninth Grade Academy, so, needless to say, I knew the school well.

I tried to find the link, but I couldn't. She then private messaged me. I was unaware of what I was getting ready to see. As I watched the video, I noticed a student harassing a special education student.  Then what I saw was much worse. I saw a teacher try to take this student and sit on her in the floor to restrain her. Then I saw the teacher take the student by the hair and drag her across the gym floor.

After I watched the video, I texted my friend and said that I thought the teacher looked like someone we both used to work with at our former school. About 20 minutes later, my friend texted me back and said that it was indeed that same teacher. I was floored and was in a state of shock. I would have never suspected this teacher to ever do something like this. I never witnessed that behavior from this lady. Never! I only observed her being fair, firm, but caring toward her students.

Even though I have watched this video several times; even two days later, I am just still horrified by the situation. I am still trying to completely process what happened. Even though all of my former students have graduated, there is always that small possibility that it could've been one of my kids. I don't know what was going through the teacher's head at the time this happened. As a teacher, I just still cannot come to terms or process what happened to this child.

For the sake of anonymity, I am refraining from posting the link to the video. I am also refraining from posting due to the fact that the video clip contains disturbing images. If you feel so inclined to watch the video, it has went viral and has made news sites in several states, so you may Google it.

Let me close this by giving a piece of advice. Whether we realize it or not, we, as teachers, always have to be cognizant of the fact that any of our actions and words can be recored and used against us at any time.


  1. Jonathan: You handled this subject with so much dignity, grace, and compassion. Thank you for having the courage and conviction to write about this while maintaining the depth of feeling you and I have for the people and the place involved. There really are no words to describe our heartbreak, and I thank you for not sharing the link, as already I regret having ever seen it or shared it to you.

    1. Thank you so much. I felt that this story needed to be shared, and I thought that this was an appropriate medium to do so. Yes, even though I am not there anymore, I will always have a special place in my heart for it. I am glad you shared it with me, as terrible as the whole situation was. I felt that it wasn't an appropriate video to share on my blog.


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