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Mon, May 17, 2010
The New Paper
Caught on camera: US teacher drags, beats, kicks pupil

FOR almost a minute, a teacher was caught on a mobile phone camera beating, kicking and slapping a student as classmates cheered and laughed.

Initially, the students thought it was all for fun, but they soon realised it was anything but.

The teacher caught on another student's mobile phone camera is 40-year-old Sherri Davis, a science teacher at Jamie's House Charter School in Houston, a school for students with disciplinary problems.

The alleged victim is 13-year-old Isaiah Johnson, the Los Angeles Times reported.

The boy's mother, Ms Alesah Johnson, said her son suffered a black eye and several bruises.

"I'm horrified. I just can't believe something like that would happen to my child," Los Angeles Times quoted her as saying.

She has also filed a police report and the video is with the investigators.

"The video is absolutely horrifying," said Ms Sue Davis, the school spokesman.

She said: "Obviously when we saw the video there was no doubt that the teacher would be terminated. "It's unreal that a teacher would do that to a student. That's just not something we are going to tolerate."

Isaiah said: "I was trying to get away from her and she started hitting me, banging my head to the wall and kicking me.

Other teachers watched

"The teachers gathered and they were looking over each other's shoulders just watching."

Janiqua Johnson, the student who filmed the attack, told a news channel that the teacher "snapped".

She "just started beating him up", Janiqua said.

"His behaviour may have been bad but he didn't deserve that."

In the footage, which has made its way to the Internet, the teacher can be seen dragging Isaiah across the floor before kicking and slapping him.

The video shows that the children initially thought that Ms Davis was joking with the boy after he teased a female classmate, British daily The Telegraph reported.

The teacher was placed on administrative leave when school officials learned of the incident, but was fired when officials saw the video.

The spokesman said no matter what the teen may have done to provoke the teacher, he didn't deserve to get hit.

A person who lives next to the school told The Los Angeles Times: "I don't think she needs to be teaching. She needs an attitude adjustment."

School administrators are also investigating if other teachers were involved, since the boy claims others stood by as the teacher beat him. Principal David Jones said: "Educators are entrusted by parents with their children every day and we have a responsibility to see that they are not only taught but treated with respect.

"This incident violates every principle by which we operate Jamie's House Charter School."

This article was first published in The New Paper.

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