Punish Teacher for Allegedly Putting Asthmatic Student in Chokehold

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Target: Memphis Police Director, Toney Armstrong

Goal: Punish teacher who allegedly put a student in a chokehold, and give instructors proper training to diffuse classroom fights.

A video that allegedly shows a high school teacher putting a 16-year-old student in a chokehold made news headlines in Memphis, Tennessee and has resulted in widespread criticism. The exchange happened in a Northeast Prep High School classroom, when two students got into a fight. The teacher jumped in to stop the brawl, but apparently ended up stopping the fight in a controversial manner.

The video clip showed the teacher putting a male student who suffers from asthma in a “chokehold,” a grappling hold on the neck, and slamming him to the floor. The incident allegedly left the boy with bruises on his neck and forearm. The other male student involved in the fight confirmed when asked that the he was not in the same room anymore when the teacher put the male student in the chokehold.

The drawback in this situation is that teachers are not professionally trained to stop fights, but they are allowed to use minimal force to stop incidents like this one. As seen, the teacher appears to have acted with what he believed was “minimal force.” School security and faculties reviewed the video and felt that the actions by the teacher were used to prevent the student from continuing to fight the other student. On the other hand, parents believe that the teacher overstepped when he put the student in a chokehold.

Please sign this petition to punish the teacher for using excessive force on a student and request that all instructors in Memphis, Tennessee be trained to be prepared for student-on-student altercations.


Dear Director Toney Armstrong,

A video has been circulating the Internet that shows what appears to be a teacher trying to break up a fight between two students. Instead of calling for help or pulling the students off of each other, the teacher appears to put one of the students in a chokehold and then slams the boy down to the ground.

Many people who have seen the video believe that the teacher approached the fight in the wrong way. The real problem is that instructors are not trained to stop fights in schools. The teacher should have called for help rather than put his hands on the child in that manner. Nobody will fully know what actually happened during that incident, but it is clear that something needs to change in the school system. This teacher needs to be given a warning or penalized for what he has done and instructors in Memphis needs to be fully trained for the event of a fight.


[Your Name Here]

Photo Credit: jmiltenburg via Morgue File

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One Comment

  1. Cat Jefferson says:

    This petition is weak. On this occasion, without being there and witnessing what occurred before the controversial video, I can not, with good conscience, sign it.

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