GREENVILLE, Miss. — A Mississippi teacher faces investigations after a video shows her dragging a student by the hair at Greenville High School.
The Delta Democrat-Times reports (http://bit.ly/2eb0NxI) Kesha Williams, a parent of a Greenville High sophomore who is not the student recorded, posted two videos on Facebook Thursday.
The video that shows a teacher dragging a student by the hair across the floor of a gymnasium had received 3.9 million views by Friday evening. A second video appears to show the teacher striking or pushing the student on the head with a cup that the student had picked up.
Williams tells the newspaper that her daughter, a Greenville sophomore, received videos of the actions recorded sometime on or after Sept. 21 from another student.
“When I saw the video it just made me mad, period,” Williams said. “I just took it upon myself to post it on Facebook just so it can get across.”
Mississippi Department of Education spokeswoman Jean Cook confirmed to The Associated Press that a teacher and student are pictured in the video. She said the state has launched a misconduct investigation, which could lead to the teacher’s license being suspended or revoked. Greenville school officials and police say they’re also investigating.
At an afternoon press conference, Greenville Superintendent Leeson Taylor said he was “disgusted” by the videos. He said there were three videos, although Williams only posted two.
“This is not reflective of what we have here in Greenville Public Schools,” Taylor said. “We have 424 teachers, and it’s disturbing to see one behave in such a manner. Now you can see the other 423 being impacted by it.”
Taylor declined to say whether the teacher is still on the job.
The superintendent said the district is collecting witness statements from adults and students who were present, “so that when we take the appropriate action, it’s legally sustainable and it protects the right of all involved.”
Greenville officials say they’re providing more training and supervision for employees and emphasizing rules.
The Southern Poverty Law Center says the video raises questions about whether violence is “normalized” at the 1,400-student school.
“Violent acts such as those appearing in the videos not only hurt and traumatize individual children, but they also contribute to a negative school climate, normalize violence and promote fear and anxiety among students and staff,” said Jody Owens, managing attorney for the Southern Poverty Law Center’s Mississippi office. “In this case, the videos show that while other students and staff were present, no one intervened to stop the abuse. This is indicative of a school environment in which violence is normalized.”
Information from: Delta Democrat-Times, http://www.ddtonline.com