Public schools

Teacher Caught on Camera Putting 11-Year-Old in Chokehold; Suspended for Three Days, Five Months Later

A teacher put a child in a chokehold in DeKalb County, Georgia.



Stephanie Fleet, a teacher in DeKalb County, Georgia, was suspended for three days without pay after being caught on surveillance camera choking. The suspension came at the end of a district investigation that also ordered her on a "professional development plan," five months after the original incident. The mother of the child was only able to see the video of her son being put in a chokehold after filing an open records request last fall. 11 Alive in Georgia reports:

According to written statements from other students and teachers in the cafeteria, Ravon was being disruptive, using profanity and threatened to hit Fleet.

The surveillance video begins in the school cafeteria. It shows 11-year-old Ravon sitting at a table with other students, fifth grade teacher Stephanie Fleet comes up and snatches his chair from behind him.

From there, as the video shows, the situation escalates.

"She's choking him from behind. She's walking with him and choking him at the same time," Handley said. "My son's feet were lifted to the tip of his toes because of the force she used around my son's neck, pulling back on my son's neck."

The video continues in the hallway, where two teachers escort the boy to the front office.

According to witness statements, what the video doesn't show is Ravon misbehaving, using profanity and even threatening to hit his teacher.

In her written statement to the school district, Fleet said in part, "He raised his hand to hit me." Of the restraint caught on camera, she said, "I thought this was an acceptable defensive hold for a student."

The district defends the decision to allow the teacher to remain employed with the school district, while the child's mother is considering filing a lawsuit against the teacher and the district.

Watch the video, via 11 Alive, below: