Cell phone video shows teacher putting student in chokehold

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In video footage caught on a cell phone, a teacher can be seen putting a student in a chokehold in an attempt to break up a fight.

Shunkita Qualls, the mother of the 16-year-old shown in the video, expressed her concern to MyFoxMempshis.

“(It was) heartbreaking,” Qualls told the station’s Lynnanne Nguyen. “It brought tears to my eyes. No mother wants to send their child to school and have to see something like that.”

Qualls said her son has asthma and told the teacher he was having trouble breathing. She also said her son has bruises on his neck and arms.

Watch the disturbing chokehold incident below:

FOX13 News, WHBQ FOX 13

While teachers are allowed to physically handle students in order to break up fights, Shunkita Qualls believe this teacher went too far in stopping her son. “The other boy in the video clearly states he walked out of the room, so there’s no reason to slam him on the ground, none of that, choke him, my son has asthma,” Qualls said. “He said while he was on the ground, he can’t breathe, he’s calm.”

The school policy concerning “reasonable force” allowed to stop a fight says that teachers may use “the minimum physical force required lasting for the shortest time predictable, to correct or restrain a student.”

“I don’t understand how this can be justifiable, because the fight has stopped, and the other child went outside,” Qualls said, “What part of this did this man, this man should’ve stopped and just leave him alone. He was already calm, he told him, he said, ‘I’m calm.’”

The school district released a statement that read in part: “We are aware a fight took place yesterday between two students. This fight resulted in a teacher, attempting to break up the melee. School security and administrators have reviewed the video and felt that the actions taken by the teacher were used to prevent the student from retaliating against the other student.”

Memphis police are investigating the incident, but no charges have been filed.

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