A Memphis teacher is in hot water following an altercation with a student. A disturbing cell phone video shows him putting the student in a chokehold. According to the Daily Mail, the unnamed teacher was initially attempting to diffuse a physical altercation between the boy and another student. It’s probably safe to say the teacher only intended to break up the fight, but the way he chose to go about it has sparked controversy. He ended up putting one of the boys in a chokehold. The one-minute video captures the disturbing act. Although the video is relatively short, a lot occurred in such a short period of time. Now, his mother Shunkita Qualls wants answers.
During an interview with Fox-13, she shared her reaction to the shocking clip. She also revealed her son suffered bruising on his neck and arms from the choking incident.
“(It was) heartbreaking. It brought tears to my eyes,” Qualls said, “No mother wants to send their child to school and have to see something like that. “The other boy in the video clearly states he walked out of the room,” she described, “so there’s no reason to slam him on the ground, none of that, choke him, my son has asthma. He said while he was on the ground, he can’t breathe, he’s calm.”
The Shelby County School District has also released a statement to Fox-13 addressing the disturbing incident.
“We are aware a fight took place yesterday between two students. This fight resulted in a teacher, attempting to break up the melee. School security and administrators have reviewed the video and felt that the actions taken by the teacher were used to prevent the student from retaliating against the other student.”
The district also cited that teachers are not formally trained to diffuse physical altercations. However, they are allowed to intervene using “the minimum physical force required lasting for the shortest time predictable, to correct or restrain a student.” But, based on the footage, it does not appear the teacher’s actions coincide with the district’s policy regarding “minimal force.”
The definition of “minimal force” has sparked a debate online. After viewing the disturbing video, surprisingly, many viewers have mixed opinions. While some viewers insist the teacher’s actions were justifiable, others agree with Qualls insisting the teacher’s actions are an example of excessive force, reports Opposing Views. But, nevertheless his mother definitely insists the teacher went way too far. It has been reported that Qualls has filed a police report, but it is unclear whether or not the teacher will be fired. The Memphis Police Department has stated that no charges have been filed yet. However, both students have been suspended from school for fighting.
Do you think the teacher should be fired? Share your thoughts.
[Image via Fox-13 Screen Capture]