Last Summer we shared the story about a Louisville Kentucky science teacher who was reassigned after fighting a student in the hallways of Marion C. Moore High School
William Bennett engaged in an escalated physical altercation on August 23rd. The student involved shared that the fight started after he heard the teacher say he would “be another black boy shot.”
This is the video captured:
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According to WDRB the JCPS Superintendent Marty Pollio terminated William Bennett after a district investigation.
The investigation report said that the video shared across social media began with a verbal altercation between Bennett and 16-year-old Jamir Strane over the appropriateness of the teenager’s mask.
Bennett told investigators that he believed the teenager had headphones concealed under a bandana and that Strane became aggressive when he was asked to wear a different mask, according to the report.
Strane said in an interview with WDRB News after the incident that the chemistry teacher told him that he was “just going to be another Black boy shot” during the incident. Bennett recalled saying “Do you think running your mouth like that is what got you shot?” before he was punched from behind by Strane, according to the investigation report.
Strane survived a drive-by shooting when he was 15, a point noted by JCPS investigators who called the exchange “disparaging,” “triggering” and “escalating” in the district’s report of the incident.
Bennett was seen by witnesses and surveillance video tackling Strane in the school’s hallway, pulling and refusing to release the teenager’s hair despite efforts from staff and students for about a minute, and trying to strike Strane with his knees, according to the incident report that does not identify Strane or other JCPS students.
“Multiple witnesses and video surveillance support the conclusion that you used excessive force during the altercation,” Pollio wrote in the Dec. 16 letter to Bennett.
Bennett tried “multiple attempts” to engage in another physical altercation with Strane after the two were separated, the investigation report says.
Bennett told investigators that he was trying to get to the school counselor’s office, not engage Strane again.
“School video footage of the incident is not consistent with Mr. Bennett’s statement about attempting to leave the incident by going into the counselor’s office,” the investigation report says.
“Furthermore, school video footage showed Mr. Bennett walk at least ten feet past the entrance to the counseling office and made no effort to walk into the counseling officer.”
Strane told WDRB News he was suspended for 10 days and charged with assault following the incident.
JCPS also identified multiple problems with Bennett’s employment materials when he applied to teach for the district, such as omitting Education Professional Standards Board cases against him and his termination by Elizabethtown Independent Schools.