Kentucky Teacher Involved In Fight with a 16-Year-Old Student Fired After Investigation Declares He ‘Triggered’ the Teen When He Teased Him About Getting Shot

After a months-long investigation in Kentucky a teacher has been fired after he got into an altercation with a student that ended in the teacher pinning the teen on a hallway floor of a Louisville high school. The incident was captured on video. The Courier-Journal reported that William Bennett, a science teacher at Marion C. Moore School, was fired in December after a fight with a 16-year-old student Jamir Strane last summer.

Investigators discovered that Bennett used excessive force on and made derogatory statements to the teenager, a 24-page termination letter according to the newspaper.

The letter noted that he violated the state’s educator code for not informing his empoloyer he had been fired from another teaching job on his application with Jefferson County Public Schools. He also never shared with the administration that he had educator certification cases brought up on him.

It read in part that he was fired from the job because of “insubordination, conduct unbecoming a teacher, inefficiency, incompetency, and neglect of duty.” The document was a portion of a larger 330-page report from the investigation performed by JCPS about the Aug. 23, 2021, fight. Nine witnesses, according to the News Enterprise, submitted statements about the around the incident.

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Strane initiated the physical fight. He hit the teacher in the back of the head after the two got into an argument. The student ran away after hitting him, however, was caught by Bennett who then pinned him to the ground, the report says.

The report states that Bennett “admitted to saying something to child about being shot that provoked” Strane. In the summer of 2020, the student was injured in a shooting.

One student who is unnamed in the report said that heard the teacher said that Strane was “just another Black boy that got shot.”

Child Protective Services, also investigated the incident, concluded that Bennett’s statements were “triggering” to the student, “who suffers ongoing emotional trauma as a previous gunshot victim.”

The report states that students and administrators tried to break up the fight, but Bennett would not release the student’s hair. “You proceeded to engage in the altercation despite the presence of another adult who was attempting to de-escalate the situation,” the document said.

Bennett is reported to have defended himself in the investigation, the document quotes him stating, “At no time did I ever take the position as the aggressor during the three assaults upon me. All actions were defensive in nature to protect me, the teacher who assisted, and the students around me. In the case of defending myself and not causing harm to the aggressor.”

Videos recorded by students assisted Child Protective Services in determining whether the teacher’s actions were proper. Some people can be heard yelling at the teacher “get off him” and “let him go.”

Link to original The Black Detour

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