A high school physics teacher in Georgia has been placed on administrative leave after he told a student he might put a bullet through the student’s head.
An unidentified person caught the moment on cellphone video about two weeks ago in a classroom at Rockdale Career Academy in Conyers, Ga.
The mother of the student who was threatened posted the video to her Facebook page last week.
“We were made aware of the video Thursday afternoon and immediately launched an investigation into this personnel matter, which is ongoing at this time,” a Rockdale County Public Schools spokeswoman told the Rockdale Newton Citizen on Monday.
The video shows teacher Paul Hagan yelling at someone off camera.
“You screw with me you’re gonna be in big a** trouble, OK?” Hagan tells the student. “Don’t smile at me, man, OK? That’s how people like you get shot.
“I got a bet. I bet by the time you’re 21 somebody’s gonna put a bullet right in your head. OK? And it might be me the one that does it.”
Another student can be heard gasping at that point.
The student’s mother, April Carr, told WSB-TV in Atlanta she was beyond shocked when she heard the teacher seemingly threaten her son. “I mean, I was outraged,” she said.
She also called the teacher’s comments “outright racist.”
“He’s in a classroom of a majority African-American students, so for you to say ‘you people,’ it’s an outright racist statement — no covering it up,” Carr told the TV station.
She said she received a call from the school’s assistant principal on Thursday, who told her someone had used profanity around her son. The rest of the story came out when Carr asked her son about it.
She said her 11th-grade son and other students were laughing while Hagan was writing an equation on the board. She told Fox 5 her son should have been paying attention, “doing what he was supposed to be doing.
“But at the end of the day, he is a child and that teacher is an adult. He is supposed to maintain control of that classroom and of himself. … If you are frustrated, pull him out of the class or wait until another class period. Let yourself calm down, then pull him to the side and talk to him. You don’t threaten his life.”
People on Facebook have pushed back on her, some blaming her son for what happened and commenting how badly behaved students are these days.
“While I am aware of the amount of turmoil teachers go thru, the disrespect you endure, this is not the case,” she fired back in a lengthy post.
“I will not try to convince anyone of the type of child I have raised because if you know him … it doesn’t have to be explained and if you don’t know him and you need a testament of his character to decipher between right and wrong then we do not need that support.
“The same people who question his actions and make excuses for the teacher’s actions are the same ones who would offer condolescenes if something would have happened but cannot offer genuine support while he is living.”
She asked people to share the video she posted on Facebook and pledged to keep pushing for action until the teacher is fired and held accountable. She filed a report with the Rockdale County Sheriff’s Office.
“You see these stories on the news never believing it will happen to your child,” Carr wrote on Facebook. “Well it happened to mine and we will get justice.”