A Beach Channel High School math teacher has been captured on a cell phone video spitting on a student’s face during an altercation after the uncooperative student was caught texting.
The Queens’ high school teacher, David Pecoraro, who has a reputation among students for being a serial spitter, was removed from the classroom and risks losing his $100,049 a year job, writes Ben Chapman at the New York Daily News.
In the video, the teacher can be seen approaching a student who is busy texting in class. When Pecoraro attempts to wrestle the cell phone away, there is a brief scrum in which the student makes physical contact with him, writes Howard Portnoy at the Examiner.
Teacher: You want to go to jail now? You’re gonna go to jail. You don’t touch me!
Student: What the hell are you doing here?
Teacher: I’m gonna teach you math.
Education Department spokeswoman Margie Feinberg, responded to the incident, saying:
Pecoraro, 52, “was reassigned to an administrative office Thursday and the matter was referred to investigators.”
The teaching veteran, who began working for the city in 1985, has a history with battling students. In 2003 he was reprimanded for pulling the headphones off a student’s head.
However, Pecoraro says that the video didn’t tell the full story.
“That kid stuck a piece of gum that he had previously chewed and placed onto his desk and onto my rear end — he put it into my mouth and I was spitting it out,” he said.
Pecoraro also denied the students’ charges, and said that his removal was triggered because of his vocal opposition against Mayor Bloomberg’s proposed reforms.
The Beach Channel High School is slated to close in 2014 after it recorded just a 44.3% four-year graduation rate, well below the city average of 65%. The low-performing school was recently graded F.