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‘Done playing with you idiots’: Teacher resigns after outburst caught on video

The Charlotte Observer logo The Charlotte Observer 3/23/2022 Madeleine List, The Charlotte Observer

A North Carolina teacher has resigned after he was recorded shouting obscenities and what one student called “racially motivated” comments during class, school officials say.

“Does anybody else want to try my authority because I’m ------- done playing with you idiots. ... You can go through life and live on the ------- system, draw your paycheck on the first and the fifteenth from my taxes and live just an absolute horrible life, I don’t care,” the teacher can be heard shouting in the background of a video that went viral on social media last week. “You can be another statistic, I don’t care. That’s on you.”

Cimayiah Josey, the Southwest High School student who recorded the video, said she was traumatized by the incident.

In addition to the verbal tirade, she said the teacher hit a golf club repeatedly on the floor next to her, grabbed her textbook and threw it on the ground and threw a desk.

“I don’t want to go back to school,” Josey told McClatchy News. “All I do is hear the cracking of the golf club. I’m having nightmares about it.”

In a statement sent to McClatchy News, Onslow County Schools spokesman Brent Anderson said that on March 17, administrators at Southwest High School told school district staff about an “inappropriate verbal outburst by a staff member” in a classroom during the first period. The school is located in Jacksonville, about 50 miles northeast of Wilmington.

Josey’s mother, Nicky Josey, said she went to pick her daughter up from school that day and found her and a few other students from the class distraught in the principal’s office.


Video: Videos appear to show school staffers pinning down students (NBC News)

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“They all came out and hugged their moms or their siblings and were crying,” she said.

The teacher’s outburst started after an interaction with a Black student in class over the student having his computer out in class, Cimayiah Josey said. She said she felt like many of the teacher’s comments were racially motivated because they referenced stereotypes about Black people.

“Him calling someone a statistic, living off of his paycheck, it stuck out to me because ... some people assume that African American people are on the state assistance or government assistance, so I feel like he said that because that’s a normal stereotype that goes around about us as a community,” she said, “and it was unnecessary and uncalled for. It hurt.”

Minority students make up 40% of enrollment at Southwest High School, and about 20% of those students are Black, according to U.S. News & World Report.

District officials called parents the evening of the incident to let them know they were aware of the situation, and the staff member resigned the following day, according to Anderson.

“In the Onslow County School system, we expect only the highest standards of behavior from our students and staff, and that we treat every member of our school family with dignity and respect,” he said in a statement. “The type of behavior exhibited in this situation will not be tolerated and is certainly not representative of the employees of Southwest High School, or any other employees who work in our district.”

Cimayiah Josey, who dreams of one day becoming a pediatrician or speech therapist for children, said she hopes the teacher, who was not publicly identified by school officials, will be held accountable for his actions and barred from teaching at other schools.

“i just know that regardless of what he said to me, I know that I’m not a statistic,” she said. “And I know that I’m not going to be a statistic because I have the support that I need and, regardless, I’m going to make it.”

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©2022 The Charlotte Observer. Visit charlotteobserver.com. Distributed by Tribune Content Agency, LLC.

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