A Georgia School teacher was put on administrative leave after making racially-charged threats toward a student in late October, officials said.
In a video clip filmed inside of a Rockdale Career Academy classroom, the teacher is seen telling a student not to “screw” with him, otherwise he will “get in big trouble.” Whether or not the child he was speaking to is shown in the video is unclear.
“Don’t smile at me, man, OK? That’s how people like you get shot,” the teacher, who is white, told the student, who is black. “I got a bet. I bet by the time you’re 21, somebody’s gonna put a bullet right through your head. And it might be me — the one that does it.”
Students present in the classroom can be heard reacting in shock at the teacher’s words.
The mother of the student the teacher hurled the threats at shared the video on Facebook last Friday, stating she was “outraged” by the incident.
“You see these stories on the news never believing it will happen to your child,” April Carr wrote on Facebook. “Well it happened to mine and we will get justice.”
Atlanta-based WSB-TV spoke with Carr, who told them the physics teacher made the remarks after her son and other students laughed while he was writing a problem on the board.
The instructor then made his way over to Carr’s son and started his tirade, Carr told ABC News, noting that there was “no back and forth” or “disrespectful”
banter between the instructor and her son.
Carr called the teacher’s statements “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 said.
According to Carr, her son just turned 17 not too long ago and the pair have had “plenty of conversations about how to conduct himself and how to act when he’s out,” including being nothing short of “respectful at all times.” Carr’s son is in the gifted program, takes a number of AP classes and is part of the school’s wrestling and football teams, she said.
With “all the shootings” going on around the country, Carry says she “can’t afford” to take the teacher’s comments lightly.
“I have to take it as seriously as it sounded,” she said.
Carr said that she fels the teacher should be terminated from his job.
“This is not OK, you know, for our educators and the people who parents send our kids to school to learn from,” Carr said.
A Rockdale County Sheriff’s incident report identifies the teacher as Paul Hagen. Carr reported the incident to police on Friday after she had gotten a phone call from the school the day before informing her about what took place. Carr became aware of the video after talking to her son, according to the incident report.
The report states that the incident occurred over a week prior to it being reported to the sheriff’s office.
The staff directory on the school website lists Paul Hagan as the chair of the school’s science department and electronics instructor. Rockdale County Public Schools release a statement saying Hagan was given administrative leave while the matter is investigated.