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.”