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Athens teacher allegedly placed middle-schooler in chokehold

Athens family claims video shows their 13-year-old being placed in a chokehold by a teacher (WSB-TV)

By Joe Johnson

A teacher at an Athens public school has been placed on administrative leave while officials investigate student's allegation that the teacher had placed him in a chokehold.

The alleged incident happened on Nov. 30 at W.R. Coile Middle School when a teacher "choked" a 13-year-old boy when breaking up a fight between him and another student, according to an Athens-Clarke County police report.

A school resource officer indicated in the report that the alleged victim had no visible injuries, and the boy's grandmother wanted to press charges.

The teacher, 30-year-old Brockton Tatum was sent home and placed on administrative leave for the pendency of the police investigation.

As a result, the officer was unable to interview the teacher that day. However, Principal Beverly Ford had taken statements from him, another teacher who witnessed the incident, and the students who had been fighting, and the resource officer indicated that those statements would be attached to his report.

"Detectives are continuing their investigation into the allegations and are following up with all parties involved," said ACCPD spokesperson Geof Gilland.

Although the report noted that there were no classroom surveillance cameras to record the incident, WSB-TV reported that the family of the alleged victim claimed to have obtained a video.

Tatum faces a possible misdemeanor charge of simple battery.






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11 Comments


Public Schools in Clarke County School District have an average math proficiency score of 17% (versus the Georgia public school average of 35%), and reading proficiency score of 22% (versus the 39% statewide average).

Source: Public School Review . com


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I am so happy that we didn't have video cameras when I taught middle school in the '70s. I don't know what the rest of this video shows, and nobody else does either, so we really can't comment on this. But I guarantee you when I broke up fights, which happened often, I'm sure I could have been caught doing something like this during that process. It wouldn't really be a chokehold, but rather just an attempt to get the kids separated before they really hurt each other. The one I really think about was my first day teaching at Clarke Central High School. I had lunchroom duty and a fight broke out. I found out later that the student…

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Izzy Mendalbaum
Izzy Mendalbaum
Dec 09, 2023

Funny, but I don''t remember this happening when I was in Middle School. What has changed? Have the teachers who went to college and studied their art suddenly turned into street fighters? OR! Have our children and our children's parents morphed into a mob of vicious tiktock fights and law suits. Let's be honest, the best thing to happen right now is nothing. No one is hurt. Those involved have either been bruised or reprimanded. Let's get back to pretend teaching the little ingrates!

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OC_DadOfSix
OC_DadOfSix
Dec 12, 2023
Replying to

You CLEARLY didn’t go to school in Clarke County in the last 15+ years

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Tommy Adams
Tommy Adams
Dec 08, 2023

What punishment are the two kids getting for fighting in the first place? I’m guessing nothing.

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I don't know why anyone would want to be a teacher these days. Between the unruly kids and difficult parents/grandparents, nope, wouldn't put myself in that position.

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