All of the students felt scared
Although shaping the minds of the next generation is a noble profession, teachers may feel frustrated from time to time dealing with people so much younger than them day in and day out. Kids can be aggravating to adults even in the classroom, but it’s up to teachers to make sure that they never lash out at their students. They’re in a position of power, after all, and it’s their job to make the students feel safe in their classrooms.
A teacher in Georgia has been fired from his position for making criminal threats toward one of his students. Now, people are divided about how this adult handled the situation involving a minor.
Nov. 3 seemed like a normal day at Rockdale Career Academy in Conyers, Georgia until a teacher got aggravated with students laughing while he was trying to teach. Eleventh grade physics teacher Paul Hagan turned to one 17-year-old student and unleashed a potentially racially charged verbal tirade against him.
Cell phone footage surfaced showing 60-year-old Paul Hagan telling the unnamed student, “You screw with me you’re going to be in big a** trouble. Don’t smile at me, man. That’s how people like you get shot.”
The teacher wasn’t done yet. He continued, “I bet by the time you’re 21 somebody’s going to put a bullet in your head. OK. And it might be me the one who does it.”
The other students in the class gasped in shock at the tirade. Thankfully, the school’s staff found out about the incident later that day. The assistant principle informed the boy’s mother April Carr that someone used profanity with him but didn’t go into detail. April asked her son what happened, and she was stunned to learn that the teacher that she thought liked her son made a “terroristic threat” against him.
She believes that the teacher looked into her son’s record, realized that he wasn’t living up to his fullest potential, and became upset with him. Regardless of his intentions, April wanted Paul removed from his position. “We all have days or people at our jobs [when] we are on the verge of taking us out of character but we make a choice to remain calm and not threaten anyone’s life,” she told WSB-TV.
Cell phone footage of the incident later surfaced, and April shared it on her Facebook where it went viral. Facebook user and educator Ivy Lewis chimed in… but she seemed to be on the teacher’s side. “Kids are totally out of hand these days. Little girl threatened to kick my a** the other day. A young man rammed his body into my colleague trying to knock him down,” she wrote.
User Romi Diore explained that the teacher should have exercised restraint before saying things in anger. “Regardless of what the child said or prior to what this teacher says is no excuse for what he said. He is supposed to be the pinnacle of professionalism. All his professionalism went out the window when he said what he said,” she said.
Rockdale County Public Schools’ Director for Strategy and Innovation told Daily Mail that they “were made aware of the video Thursday afternoon and immediately launched an investigation into [the] personnel matter, which [was] ongoing at [the] time.”
Paul Hagan was eventually fired. But he isn’t the only viral teacher who has threatened a student this year.
On Oct. 13, 2017, a 16-year-old student at Mount Tahoma High School in Tacoma, Washington was stopped in the hallway by a teacher and threatened with violence. According to KIRO-7, Teacher Michael Anderson was recorded on a cell phone while confronting the boy. “This kid right here, you’re lucky that I got a job because I will put you down right here, six feet under. You probably have a bad background and your family doesn’t love you,” Anderson says in the video.
The student claimed that he never had an altercation with this teacher before and didn’t know what provoked him. Michael Anderson was placed on administrative leave. Even so, nearly 200 students at the school signed a petition asking the school staff to reinstate the disgraced teacher because they believed that the student provoked him into making the threat.
Do you think that teachers like Paul Hagan and Michael Anderson should be fired for what they said to their students? Let us know in the comments and don’t forget to SHARE this story.