An Arkansas high school student lit up a cigar and blew smoke three times in a teacher’s face in a classroom confrontation that was captured on cell phone video.
The incident at North Little Rock High School that occurred on Monday morning, and has been viewed about 40,000 times on YouTube so far, is currently under investigation by administrators.
According to the police report, the same student was removed from the classroom several times before during this school year.
Whether that background prompted or didn’t prompt the teacher’s request for the exam taker to sit in the hall to complete the test papers has not been detailed. Presumably more facts will emerge as a result of the school district probe.
As of this morning, the school apparently had yet to take any disciplinary action against the 18-year-old student, Arkansas Online claimed. The district school superintendent “had not received a recommendation for any action regarding the student” from the high school, but characterized the cigar smoke incident as “very unfortunate” and indicated that appropriate action would occur.
The confrontation allegedly had its source when the student refused to comply with the science teacher’s directive to take a final exam out in hallway rather in the classroom, Little Rock CBS News affiliate KTHV Channel 11 reported.
“When the teacher reached for the intercom button [to summon a campus supervisor], the student said, ‘hit that button, I dare you.’ The teacher is said to have hit the intercom button, and then began to write the student up. As he was writing, the classroom started to get loud. When the teacher investigated the commotion, he found the student lighting a cigar and smoking from it. The student then got up from his seat, walked up to the teacher, and blew smoke in his face three times.”
The Daily Callerdescribed the incident during the final exam as “an act of final defiance.”
As the campus supervisor escorted the student out of the classroom, the young man vowed that “I’ll be back.” It remains to be seen if the student is just blowing smoke with that promise.
Based on the brief video clip (embedded below), the teacher kept his composure throughout the encounter.
KARK, Channel 4 in Little Rock, explained that several infractions could possibly be in play including illegal possession of tobacco on school grounds and misdemeanor insult or abuse of a teacher. The student could also face a range of disciplinary actions including expulsion.
“We have to have some morals, ethics and values before we come into the school,” School Safety Coordinator Steve Canady observed. As far as whether the situation served as a call out to the parents, he noted that “I think it’s a call out to society as a whole. I think we need to look deeper at what we may or may not be doing in our culture.”
About the teacher, Canady declared that “He was professional. He was calm, and he was mature and he didn’t let the actions of the student interfere with his ability to control the situation.” The police report identifies the teacher as Robert Holley.
In an entirely different incident at an unknown school location, the video for which was also uploaded to Twitter, a female student slammed another girl in the head with chair WWE-style, at which point they both got into a brawl before a teacher intervened.
Do you think that there are more of these disruptive classroom incidents, usually leading to violence, than ever before or do we just hear about them more because of social media?
[North Little Rock High School photo courtesy of Valis55 via Wikimedia Commons|cropped and resized| (CC BY-SA 3.0)]