A Florida school monitor who was filmed slamming a student to the ground after he confronted the teen for using the N-word in the classroom has been charged in connection with the incident, authorities said.
According to ClickOrlando, the March 28 incident occurred at the Tohopekaliga High School in Kissimmee. The accused, identified as 26-year-old Chris Ferguson, was arrested in the aftermath of the incident.
The confrontation between Ferguson and the student occurred while the latter was on in-school suspension, WESH reported. Ferguson allegedly confronted the juvenile student after he overhead him using the N-word. The school employee told the juvenile student he couldn’t talk like that before telling him to leave the room.
But after class ended, Ferguson overhead the student telling his girlfriend the 26-year-old man was “in (his) feelings,” an affidavit stated, per ClickOrlando. Authorities said Ferguson, who weighs 350 pounds and is 6 feet, 6 inches tall, then went ahead to grab the student “by the shirt and neck and lifted him up to the ceiling, leaving red marks over his neck and chest area.” He also slammed the student to the ground before shoving the teen numerous times.
In the video of the incident, a female student is seen trying to separate the student from Ferguson after he slams him to the ground. “Get the (expletive) away,” she is heard saying. “I ain’t no little n*****, I ain’t no little n*****,” the male student is heard saying in response.
Following the incident, the juvenile student received treatment at the school nurse’s office. Authorities have, however, not disclosed his race. A spokesperson for Osceola County Public Schools said Ferguson had been employed as a campus monitor for just a week before the incident. The spokesperson added that Ferguson resigned after the incident.
Officials said the student’s mother has decided to press charges against Ferguson. And though parents also condemned the man’s actions, they said they understand how touchy the situation is.
“It touches on a lot of the racial stuff going on these days,” parent Phillip Long told ClickOrlando.
“I don’t think at anytime it’s appropriate to put your hands on a child, but I will say we are in a situation where racial tensions are very high,” another parent, Leanne Chriswell, said. “You’ve got to be conscious of what you say.”
Ferguson has been charged with child abuse without great bodily harm.