Teacher suspended for placing student in choke hold - | WBTV Charlotte

Teacher suspended for placing student in choke hold


Statesville High School Science teacher Richard Holmes has been placed on administrative leave with pay after the district said he intervened and restrained a student. The Iredell-Statesville School District is investigating to determine if Holmes went too far. 

Davion Roseboro, 15, told WBTV that Holmes placed him in a choke hold to prevent him from fighting with another student. The student claims he almost passed out. Cell phone video captured the encounter.

"I couldn't move my eyes or nothing," Roseboro said. "Everything got slower - slower until he let me go. My body started rebooting."

The student claims he alerted the teacher he was having trouble. 

"His arm was like this," the student said. "And I was tapping his arm - let me go. He still didn't let me go."

The teacher eventually let the student go, but parents claim the damage had already been done.

"He could have passed out," Mother Joyce Davidson said. "And never woke up again."

The parents admit their son isn't perfect and may have been in the wrong, but they claim that's no reason for his treatment.

"That still didn't give that teacher a right to put his hands around my son's neck," Mother Joyce Davidson said. "And choke him out like that. I don't care what the situation is."

The incident happened Tuesday, December 1st. The father tells WBTV he received a call from the superintendent Wednesday night talking to him about this situation. The father was pleased with the conversation.

"He looked at the footage," Student's Father Israel Coleman said. "And there was no question that the teacher was definitely in the wrong."

The father also tells WBTV the superintendent was not pleased with how the administration at Statesville High School handled the case. The father wanted police to investigate, but the school didn't call police. The parent tells WBTV the school's major focus during his conversation with administrators was focused on his son. His argument is if police are not allowed to do choke holds, then why can teachers.  

"Your only concern is disciplining the child," the father said. "When we should be bringing law enforcement in to instruct us on which way should we go with this, because neither of us have the background in what we should do at this point."  

The parents are also concerned no security was present at the school that day.  The School Resource Officer called out sick.  The mother tells WBTV she has worked in the school district before and says training showed her teachers should never have their hands around a student's neck. 

"You can't be all up in here," the mother said. "You can't do that. I think they need special training for these teachers."

The Iredell - Statesville school district tells WBTV teachers are offered training on how to diffuse an altercation between students.  Officials say they should use common sense and experience. 

As the investigation continues, the student is now on medication for a sprained neck.  He has also been suspended from school until Monday. Parents want the teacher to pay for his actions next.  

"I want to see him punished." the mother said.

No word when the school district will be finished with its investigation.

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