PHENIX CITY, Ala. (WRBL) – A teacher at Central High School is on paid administrative leave after allegedly throwing an object at a student during a discussion about Ma’Khia Bryant.
On May 3, 11th grader Javon Seals heard two of his classmates talking about NBA player Lebron James. His science teacher joined the conversation and expressed her dislike for James. Seals said he asked his teacher why she was not a fan of the NBA player.
Seals said his teacher did not like James because he made a social media post on Twitter exposing the addresses of officers involved in the shooting death of Ma’Khia Bryant. Seals and his teacher began discussing Bryant’s death. During the conversation, Seale took his phone out and started recording the discussion. The conversation between Seals and his teacher took a turn and his teacher allegedly threw an unknown object at his head.
Other students have told Seals this is not the teacher’s first time getting upset during controversial discussions.
“I tried to explain to her how Lebron was feeling, where Lebron was coming from,” Seales said. “After I tried to tell her that’s when, as you can hear in the video her getting highly upset, yelling at me. As I’m trying to explain my point of view and Lebron’s, that’s when she got mad at me and threw something that was on her desk at me.”
Other teachers heard the commotion and entered the classroom. Seals said the teacher and an administrator told him he was being disrespectful to his teacher.
“Another administrator came directly towards me and said I was being disrespectful to her and I’m sitting there confused,” Seales said. “I didn’t even say nothing, I never disrespected her… she just threw something at me and y’all are coming at me, saying I’m disrespectful.”
That afternoon when Seales got home, his mother Lamonica Peters was unaware of the situation. Later that night she saw a video on social media of her son in class getting an alleged item thrown at him.
“I was upset about the whole entire situation, I had so many questions,” Peters said. “Like why is this conversation being brought up, why hasn’t the school contacted me. I contacted them and let them know what was going on and that it was going around on social media.”
Peters said school officials told her the incident was being investigated, but she’s unsure if this is a safe place for her son to voice his opinions.
“You can hear from the beginning she was so upset, she was just very angry and because he disagreed or didn’t get a chance to really say what he wanted to say and she threw something at him. I hold her at a higher standard, she is a teacher and if this conversation was too emotional for her, then she should not have held that in a classroom,”
Phenix City Schools Superintendent Randy Wilks released a statement addressing the incident.
Phenix City Schools takes very seriously matters regarding the safety and well being of students and employees. Following notification of unprofessional conduct, Phenix City Schools immediately placed an employee on paid administrative leave, pending the outcome of an investigation. Phenix City Schools will continue to provide a safe learning environment and will pursue excellence on behalf of all students.
Seals told News 3 his teacher apologized after allegedly throwing the unknown object but he is still disheartened by the whole situation.
“I was very disappointed, I think everybody should be able to express their opinions and express how they feel about certain things without getting objects thrown at them,” Seals said.
Peters said she is extremely proud of her son for handling the situation the way he did.
“I am very proud of my son in the way he responded because had he responded in a different way, this could’ve went a different way. What is his consequence if he would’ve reacted to her? There should be a consequence for her actions,” Peters said.