A Kentucky high school teacher has been reassigned to “non-instructional duties” pending an investigation into the physical altercation with a Black male student that was captured on video.
The brawl between 16-year-old Jamir Strane and his chemistry teacher, William Bennett, occurred Monday at Marion C. Moore School in Louisville, New York Post reports. The video, filmed by another student, shows Strane beneath Bennett during the melee. Other students can be heard pleading with the teacher to stop.
Strane punches the teacher and Bennett yanks the student’s hair. Eventually, another adult intervenes.
Strane told WDRB that the fight erupted after Bennett made racially charged comments and criticized his neck gaiter face mask.
“As I’m transitioning into my fourth-period class, which is chemistry, going to his classroom, he tells me I’m not able to walk into his classroom with the bandana that I have on, but it’s a face mask. This is the first time, but I’ve worn it before in the classroom, that’s why I don’t get what he’s saying,” said Strane.
“He said, ‘You’re just going to be another black boy shot,’” Strane said. “I’m going to put it in English. He said ‘You’re going to end up in the streets dead,’ in my mind, like all my friends.”
Those words triggered the teen, as he was reportedly wounded in a drive-by shooting last summer.
“To be told that you’re just another boy that’s going to be shot dead, I could see where that could trigger his PTSD,” Strane’s mother, Erica, told the station. “Like I said, my son — he’s not a saint. He has his flaws. But again, I can understand where the PTSD was triggered.”
Strane said he called Bennett the N-word during the confrontation, and the teacher said he was racist, the Louisville Courier-Journal reported.
Strane has been suspended for 10 days and is facing an assault charge.
His mother has launched an online fundraiser claiming her son “was attacked by his teacher.” The incident sparked protests outside the school Monday after footage of the fight surfaced on social media.
“He thinks I was a delinquent,” Strane reportedly said of Bennettin in a Facebook interview. “He thought I was out here in the streets.”
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