BRANDYWINE, Md. (WJZ) — A Maryland substitute teacher under fire for the way he disciplined students. Troubling cell phone video shows the teacher using a belt on unruly sixth graders.
Christie Ileto speaks to students and parents about the video.
The incident happened last Friday. Some parents are saying the substitute teacher did what he had to do to break up an alleged fight between students–others are saying he simply crossed the line.
Melee in the classroom. A substitute teacher is videotaped beating Gwynn Park Middle School students in Prince George’s County with a belt.
“It was a sixth grade class,” one student said.
That student says the sub was trying to break up a fight.
“The kids were fighting and he decided to take out a belt and start whipping them,” he continued.
Prince George’s County schools say the teacher has been removed from the classroom, calling his actions “improper.”
“I’m not going to say that I want my child to be physically disciplined in school–I’m not going to say that. But I am going to say that I know how kids are nowadays and that being a teacher is a very hard job,” said Sharita Rodriguez, parent.
Many parents say the 35-second video only shows a snapshot of the incident and not the full story. They want to know what prompted that substitute teacher to behave in that manner.
“I don’t know. There’s so much left out in this video to make a real decision if I think he’s right or wrong or not,” said parent Kenrick Scott.
But some parents say the sub clearly crossed the line.
“There were other things that he could have done without being that aggressive,” one parent said.
For now, the viral incident is under investigation.
Some parents say they believe the substitute teacher should be allowed to return back to school.
The district has not yet identified the substitute teacher.