Controversial videos showing teachers using physical disciplinary measures have been stirring up debate online over the boundaries that educators have in the classroom to maintain order. One such case occurred in Georgia last May, but it is only now that one 11-year-old boy’s mother, Chiquita Handley, is demanding that administrators take a closer look at the footage of a teacher putting her child into a chokehold.
Stephanie Fleet, the teacher who put the boy, Ravon, in the chokehold, defended her actions in her original statement after the incident. Fleet and other witnesses said that the boy was using profanity and even “raised his hand to hit” the teacher. While it is difficult to see exactly what occurred on the video, one part is clear: Stephanie does walk away with the student in a chokehold.
“He raised his hand to hit me… I thought this was an acceptable defensive hold for a student.”
The teacher was reprimanded for her actions by the school district, given a three-day suspension without pay and ordered to take professional development classes. Ravon’s mother, however, says that the punishment doesn’t adequately address the behavior: No parent should have their child put in a chokehold by their teacher, she told NBC‘s Atlanta affiliate, WXIA-TV.
“She choked somebody’s child, and she’s able to get back into the same building and teach. If it was me choking my own child caught on tape, there’s no way that my two kids would still be in the house with me. She should not be teaching.”
In order to see the video, Chiquita had to file an open records request with DeKalb County schools. Months later, she finally received the footage of her son being put into a chokehold. What she saw shocked her.
“She’s choking him from behind. She’s walking with him and choking him at the same time. My son’s feet were lifted to the tip of his toes because of the force she used around my son’s neck, pulling back on my son’s neck… I saw it and my heart just dropped. It’s nothing anyone ever wants to see their child go through.”
Handley is now looking at her options for legal action against the Georgia school and the teacher who put her child in a chokehold. DeKalb County School District spokesman Quinn Hudson told 11 Alive News that they stand by their decision not to terminate the teacher for using a chokehold.
[Image via WXIA-TV]