A middle school teacher in St. Lucie County, Florida was fired just over a year after being accused of ordering a group of students to beat up another student. The attack was caught on a surveillance video, which shows the teacher motioning at two of the boys involved in the assault shortly before it began.
The attack happened in March of 2013 at Northport K-8 School after seventh grader Radravious Williams said something disrespectful to his teacher, Dru Dehart, during his second period class. Dehart claims that Williams threatened her in class, but Williams said that never happened. He admits to getting in trouble and telling Dehart that he wished he could curse at her, but says no threats were ever made. Other students verified Williams’ account of the in-class incident.
Williams said that two students came to get him from his third period class to see Dehart. Williams says that when he entered the hall, he saw Dehart walking away, and a group of six students began attacking him shortly thereafter. The students hit and kicked Williams, slammed him into the lockers, and hit him with a belt.
View footage of the attack in the video below (attack starts at the 0:13 mark).
According to Williams’ mother, the students forced her son to apologize after beating him up. “They picked him up, carried him, holding him by the neck, took him down to her classroom and forcibly made him apologize to her,” said Latasha Darrisaw. “And her remarks to him were, ‘I’ve got my eighth-grade boys on you; you’re not so tough now.'”
Police arrested the six students involved in the attack; no charges have been filed against Dehart to date. Dehart was suspended from teaching without pay in the fall, and the St. Lucie County School District unanimously voted to fire her in a meeting last week.
“(She) made a very poor decision that day,” said school district representative David Miklas. “She used students to carry out discipline.”
Dehart hasn’t spoken out on the incident, but her lawyer Mark Wilensky says that his client “wishes she would never stop teaching.”
Darrisaw says that her son is still traumatized from the attack. “It’s like a nightmare. He’s not the same. He’s had some sleepless nights,” Darrisaw said. The mom also mentioned that Dehart never apologized. “As a person and as a parent you would like some kind of apology, but I guess we will get that whenever she’s ready.”
Image via YouTube