An incident at Streamwood High School in Illinois has a teacher in trouble after a special needs student recorded the teacher bullying him in front of the entire class.
Stephen Davis, a 330-pound, 15-year-old freshman at the school was the victim of bullying by his math teacher, who drew a picture of him in front of the entire class with buckteeth and bloodshot eyes. The picture featured the words “Stephen’s ugly a$$.”
“I was literally livid and embarrassed. Everyone told me, ‘That looks like you,’” Stephen said in a phone interview with the Daily Herald that included his father and sister. “Everyone was standing there pointing at me, laughing, (while) I’m on the verge of tears.”
The sister of the boy took to Facebook after hearing about the incident, posting a two-minute video of the incident to the “District U46 Uncensored” page. The video was shot by the boy using his smartphone at his desk while the teacher drew the picture, writes Madhu Krishnamurthy for The Daily Herald.
The video was also posted to YouTube by the student victim under the title, “Teacher Mentally Abuses Student.” Since that time it has been taken down by YouTube, citing their policy prohibiting content meant to harass, bully or threaten.
The video shows the teacher, believed to be a substitute, drawing the figure, while another student yells out, “It looks like Stephen.” It is unclear who then writes the wording below the picture, although the person does misspell the name twice before finally writing it correctly, writes Dave Gathman for The Chicago Tribune.
District officials became aware of the incident on Friday morning, according to John Heiderscheidt, School District U46′s coordinator of safety and security. Heiderscheidt said they “are taking it extremely seriously.” While it is unknown who told the district about the incident, he said they “are working with the student’s family to investigate what happened.”
School officials have interviewed every student who was in the class during the incident and “the substitute teacher has been removed from the situation.” Due to employee confidentiality policies, he was unable to say whether the teacher had been suspended or fired, although he did say that the district has placed a ban on bullying.
The teacher’s name has not been made public, although many people throughout the community are aware who it is.
“When anybody is ridiculed because of their race or their size or their orientation, that is bullying,” Heiderscheidt said. “It doesn’t matter whether that bullying is student to student, or employee to employee, or from an employee to a student.”
A message was posted to the U46 Facebook page by District CEO Tony Sanders that said, “I want to assure our parents that we are aware of the video that is circulating allegedly showing a substitute teacher bullying a student at Streamwood High. Immediate and appropriate action was taken early this morning pending the outcome of our investigation.”