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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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