CANTON - A McKinley High School teacher is under investigation after a video surfaced that shows him tackling a student to the ground
The roughly 15-second video, obtained by The Canton Repository on Tuesday, shows a student standing with his backpack near another student's desk in a classroom when the teacher and two other adult men approach. The teacher places his hand on the student's left arm to pull him away from the desk, and the student jerks his arm away. The teacher then grabs the student around the neck and shoulders and slams him to the floor out of sight of the video.
What circumstances led to the incident are unclear.
Canton City Schools Superintendent Adrian E. Allison wrote in an emailed statement that the incident occurred Dec. 4, and the teacher has been placed on paid administrative leave pending the district's investigation.
"The teacher's behavior on this video is disturbing and unprofessional and is not in accordance with the standards of our district and the teaching profession," Allison wrote. "The teacher is entitled to and will receive due process. However, the district will exercise all of its legal authority to ensure that he faces the most severe discipline possible."
A Dec. 5 letter from the district's director of human resources notifying the teacher of his suspension states he is prohibited from conducting any business on behalf of the district and cannot have any contact with students or parents, unless specifically directed by the district.
The Repository could not reach the suspended teacher. The president of the Canton Professional Educators' Association did not return a message seeking comment Tuesday afternoon. The Repository is not naming the teacher at this time, as the investigation is pending.
District spokeswoman Lisa Reicosky wrote in an email the student shown on the video served one day of suspension for insubordination as reported by the teacher before the video surfaced Dec. 5.
The 48-year-old teacher, who was hired by the district in August 2011 as an intervention specialist, has been disciplined previously. In 2015, his educator license was suspended for 60 days and he was required to complete 40 hours of community service as part of a consent agreement with the Ohio Department of Education. The discipline stemmed from his 2014 conviction in Stow Municipal Court for a misdemeanor count of domestic violence.
Kelli Weir is a staff writer for The Canton Repository.