Clayton County, GA – A teacher at Charles Drew High School in Riverdale is under investigation after a video of him pummeling a 14-year-old student on Friday went viral (video below).
The first video of the Feb. 1 altercation that was posted to social media made it look as though the coach had beaten up the student totally unprovoked.
But a second video of what precipitated that altercation surfaced shortly thereafter, and that footage told a different story altogether.
The complete cell phone video showed the student raging around the classroom.
Then he picked up a desk and threw it as classmates screamed, the video showed.
That’s when the English teacher, who also happens to be the football coach at the high school, intervened.
The video showed the teacher with his arms wrapped around the teenage boy from behind as they struggled.
The teacher took the student to the ground at the point, but the view of the boy on the ground is partially obscured by a desk, so it’s not known what he was doing at that time.
However, the video clearly showed the teacher bending over the student, punching him with his fists, until another student pulled him off.
The student’s guardian told WSB that the teacher made a joke about the boy’s hat, and told him to stop cutting up his mother’s stockings to wear on his head.
“He said he was picking on him, trying to make the class laugh, and that made him upset,” Yaquanda Lucas said.
She said her godson suffers from mental health issues and school officials were well aware of the problem, WSB reported.
“I don’t excuse him throwing the chair, I don’t. There’s a way to handle these kind of kids, and that’s not the way that you do it,” Lucas said.
She said the boy had suffered a concussion as a result of the fight.
The Clayton County School District refused to comment on the ongoing investigation.
They also refused to comment on the employment status of the teacher or whether the student was facing discipline, WSB reported.
No charges have been filed against the teacher or the student at this time.
However, WSB reported that its reporters had seen a criminal witness subpoena that said a court date had been set for later in February in the matter.
WSB did not say who had received the subpoena or who was being charged in the case.
Watch the incident unfold in the videos below: