The school district says the incident happened Dec. 4 at McKinley High School in Canton, and the footage circulated the next day. The teacher, Ken Weatherbee, has been placed on paid leave, according to school officials.
The video clip, which was given to WJW by a parent of one of the students, lasts less than a minute. It shows a student with a backpack in a classroom. A man approaches him, and the student angrily turns away. Then the man grabs him and appears to throws him headfirst into a wall. Others in the room can be heard gasping at the sight.
“As a parent, I wouldn’t want someone putting their hands on my kid like that,” said the mother who gave the video to the station. “I think it’s worth looking into. Something needs to be done.”
A statement from the Canton City School District Superintendent calls the teacher’s behavior “disturbing and unprofessional.” The statement goes on to say that while the teacher is entitled to due process, the district will try to make sure “he faces the most severe discipline possible.” The statement did not, however, reveal what led to the situation.
The district says the teacher initially called what happened a “restraint,” but the video showed more.
Neither the teachers’ union nor Weatherbee immediately responded to requests for comment.