A school teacher who was caught on cellphone video pinning a black student to the ground and grabbing his hair back in August has been fired following an investigation into the incident.
William Bennett, a chemistry teacher at Marion C. Moore High School in Louisville, was fired by the Jefferson County Public Schools district on Dec. 16 "on the basis of insubordination, conduct unbecoming a teacher, inefficiency, incompetency, and neglect of duty," as reported by The News-Enterprise.
Bennett had been placed on reassignment pending an investigation after a video surfaced on social media on Aug. 23 showing Bennett in the altercation with 16-year-old Jamir Strane, as two other students tried to pull him off.
""Get the fâk off him," someone can be heard telling Bennett in the video. The teen then starts punching the teacher as he is pinned to the ground. "Let go of him!" a female student yells.
"What the fâk is he doing?" another girl is heard saying in the clip. Another adult, a staff member, then intervenes and separates the two but Bennett grabs Strane by the hair and refuses to let go until the end of the video.
'You're Going to End Up in the Streets Dead'
The investigation revealed that the student had initiated the fight and punched Bennett in the back of the head following a verbal altercation. Bennett then turned around and grabbed the student, taking him to the ground and placing his whole body weight on top of him.
The report states that Bennett "admitted to saying something to child about being shot that provoked" the student, who had been involved in a shooting in summer 2020.
Strane told WDRB in August that the fight erupted after the teacher took issue with his neck gaiter â and made some unnecessary racially charged comments. "He said, 'You're just going to be another black boy shot,'" Strane said. "I'm going to put it in English. He said 'You're going to end up in the streets dead,' in my mind, like all my friends."
Bennett told investigators that he felt the student shouldn't have been allowed to stay in his class after an incident on the second day of school where the student was asked to take his headphones out, and then called the teacher the n-word.
He even showed investigators photos of his immediate and extended family, many of who are not white, " 'to dispel any myth of being racist as portrayed in the media,' " it states.
Bennett had previously been terminated from Elizabethtown Independent Schools after an arrest in February 2001 and his employment with Hardin County Schools was not renewed in July 2000 over inappropriate behavior and language with students.