Black Student Told by Teacher ‘That’s How People Like You Get Shot’

“I bet by the time you’re 21 somebody’s gonna put a bullet right through your head,” a Georgia teacher told his Black student, adding, “And it might be me the one who does it.”

April Carr speaks with WSB-Atlanta / SCREENGRAB VIA WSB-ATLANTA

Cell phone video from a Georgia school shows a teacher threatening a Black student, saying he would “put a bullet right through your head.”

April Carr, the 17-year-old student’s mother, is seeking legal action against Paul Hagan, the teacher in question. Carr’s son, along with other students, reportedly laughed during class, which prompted an angry tirade from Hagan:

“You screw with me, you’re gonna be in big a** trouble,” Hagan said. “Okay? Don’t smile at me, man. Okay? That’s how people like you get shot. I got a bet. I bet by the time you’re 21 somebody’s gonna put a bullet right through your head. Okay? And it might be me the one who does it.”

Hagan is reportedly on leave as a school and criminal investigation are set to take place. According to Carr, Hagan is “absolutely not” fit to be in a classroom.

“I think it’s a terroristic threat on my son’s life that I definitely don’t take lightly,” Carr, who has filed a police report, told WSB-TV.

The incident occurred at Rockdale Career Academy in Conyers, Ga., about 25 miles away from Atlanta. The school’s website identifies Hagan as an electronics instructor and chair of the science department.

Carr said that Hagan apologized after the incident.

“He looked into my son’s record and he’s not living up to his fullest potential in his class, and it just made him upset,” Carr recalled.

According to a 2013 report, Rockdale County Public Schools are about 61.63 percent Black, 20.25 percent white, 1.9 percent Asian. 12.6 percent Hispanic and 3.44 “other or multi-racial.”

“The free and reduced meal rate in RCPS is currently 69% with some schools as high as 90%,” the report notes.

Rockdale County, Ga., overall is 54 percent Black, 33 percent white, 10.3 percent Hispanic, 2.2 percent two or more races, 1.9 percent Asian and less than 1 percent Native Hawaiian/Pacific Islander and American Indian/Alaska Native.

Rockdale Career Academy is considered one of the district’s “nontraditional” schools.

“By nontraditional, we mean that it is not a home high school for any students,” a district spokesperson told The Washington Post. “Students in grades 9-12 from across the district come to this school from their home schools to participate in classes.”

As far as Carr and her son, the mother admitted that laughing in class is not appropriate but hardly calls for threats.

“He definitely should have been paying attention, getting his lesson … and doing what he was supposed to be doing,” she said to Fox 5. “But at the end of the day, he is a child and that teacher is an adult. He is supposed to maintain control of that classroom and of himself … if you are frustrated, pull him out the class or wait until another class period. Let yourself calm down then pull him to the side and talk to him. You don’t threaten his life.”

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  • First, I notice some errors. The county is Rockdale County and the school district Rockdale County School Public Schools, not Rockland. Rockland County is in NY, I used to live there. Could you correct that for us. Thank you. I currently live in Rockdale County and when I saw this story on the news yesterday I was appalled. Teenagers will see how far they can push authority figures, this instructors reaction to this was not appropriate by any stretch of the imagination. I don’t care if he was having a bad day or if he was disappointed in the young man not “living up to his potential”. You do not threaten a child’s life under any circumstance. He has no business being in a classroom. He should be terminated from his position.

  • This is what our children have to live with? Sickening! That teacher needs to be arrested for threatening a students life. And before anyone say’s the student was rude, and shouldn’t have been laughing, it doesn’t matter! You don’t threaten someone’s life for something as petty as this.

    • David Andersen

      With you Grannybunny. Who on earth says stuff to a kid? … anyone for that matter. Unreal.

    • David Andersen

      With you Grannybunny! Who on earth talks like that to a kid?? …or anyone for that matter. Unreal

  • The fact that he felt comfortable enough to say “I bet by the time you’re 21 somebody’s gonna put a bullet right through your head. Okay? And it might be me the one who does it.” to a student, in front of his class, screams UNSTABLE! Not only should he be immediately terminated, he should be arrested, charged, sentenced, and NEVER have the opportunity to work as a teacher or enter any classroom again! I would lose it had that been my child!

  • A teacher should never threaten anyone …. not a kid or another adult! I am sure there is more to the story that the media is not saying…. But on another subject still close to home: You couldn’t pay me enough to be a teacher the way kids are today. Kids think they are untouchable. Parents don’t discipline. Kids are raised with a self entitlement with no consequences but to blame others. It’s a new world order folks. Just wait till some kid threatens you with a gun as my daughter experienced. I can deal with an adult, but a kid. shocking!

    • Your comment is a bit interesting to say the least, not sure why you shared the information you did, as if to discredit the teacher, then in a sense support him. I would not become a police officer and not want to deal with the public, or a doctor and not want to deal with ill patients, so why become a teacher knowing there’s a possibility you will (at some point) have to deal with immature children?

    • ALIALV–I know what you mean about the kids.
      I worked in an urban school and the teachers there
      told me that SUBURBAN students were much worse
      than any “ghetto” students. They also said that
      the suburban parents constantly threatened the
      teachers and would not stop their wretched offspring
      from doing anything wrong. If you want to see how
      spoiled rich brats get away with crime, just go on
      any “white crime” attorney’s website, and they will
      outline IN DETAIL how they can protect your evil
      college-age youngster from the consequences
      of their actions!

  • Not fit to teach, he is a lousy piece of filth. Get him away and keep him away from the children black and white asap.

  • Teachers should be required to take an ethics class and abide by a code of ethics under a professional code of conduct.

    As a former student, I witnessed and experienced, firsthand, how teachers treat some students. We students were captive audiences to teachers espousing their racial, political, social, and religious views. I knew it was wrong. They’ve be doing this kind of crap since the beginning of time.

    Later I worked as a professional in several school districts. These were not black majority districts either. They talked terribly about the parents and the students. Some of these students were very disabled. They confided in me, unasked and certainly not appreciated, personal, private negative things about students and their families. They were unprofessional and judgmental. I was appalled. I worked in these districts under an oath of ethics and confidentiality as required by my professional group at the time.

    As a student, teachers knew how I felt as it was written all over my face. I’m here to learn history or math, not hear about how this used to be a white neighborhood or whatever racist agenda they felt compelled to share with black students and get seat with it. They didn’t like me and I didn’t care. I was perfectly behaved, never cut class, played hooky and excelled five grades higher on standardized tests so there wasn’t much they could. As a “profession”, I don’t have a lot of respect for them.

    They buily, harass, sexually abuse students and there needs to be some specialized training in colleges and through the school districts about conduct and ethics.

    Do we need to put cameras in the classroom? And I don’t want to hear whining about unruly classes and overcrowding.. Nobody forced them to enter the profession. Don’t like it, leave or work toward change. Don’t take your personal problems and beliefs out on kids – cowards do that.

  • The teacher should have had more restraint, but I’ve had to say the same to my teenager. If you live in my city giving a stranger that kind of attitude can get you shot. This is not me threatening my son, but me telling him to show everyone respect because some dudes WILL shoot you if they think you’re laughing at them or consider them a joke.

  • I think there’s misunderstanding here and over-reaction, for it sounds as if the teacher was trying – even inappropriately – to use real world situations to tell the student that an “I don’t care” attitude will be resented in a larger world and he will feel the consequences.

    I get the mother, Ms Carr’s point of course, and the image used by that teacher, particularly when the teacher was white and the impact of historic reality could be heard by some, behind his words – making those words was completely out of place, potentially seen as threatening, and unnecessary. And, if it were my child I would be furious. And I’m glad Ms Carr spoke up.

    But his words sound as if he is trying to fit in with people used to street life to make his point. I have learned from ex prisoners and those who work with prisoners and substance abusers – topics of getting shot are part of the language.

    I think it’s a mistake to use language alone to judge or condemn someone, for we learn phrases and examples from our surroundings, and often use some to fit in. But it’s also valuable and important to teach, as this mother did, that different language must be learned. I find myself doing that a lot – and see it as part of learning better language to still be real, and kind and considerate of context.

    • Cassie your post has “out of touch” written all over it, and shows you’re part of the problem. There is absolutely no way you can “make sense” of what this creep said, or draw a parallel between “students and ex-cons,” it just doesn’t work. As well, its hard to imagine you put any thought into what you wrote, if you actually watched the video.

      So Cassie, what would you say if the teacher followed through on his verbal threat, and harmed the student?

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