Teacher placed on paid leave after witnessing student choked unconscious in social media video

NORTH CHARLESTON, SC (WCSC) – A Deer Park Middle School student is facing second-degree assault charges after a video on social media shows him knocking out another student.

In the video, shot by another student inside a classroom on Monday, shows the suspect placing the 13-year-old victim in a headlock, dragging him from his desk and then choking him to the point of his passing out. A police report filed with the North Charleston Police Department says the victim was unconscious for one to two minutes.

Throughout the recording, the suspect is heard asking the teacher, who is off-camera, if he can “put him [the victim] to sleep real quick.” The teacher responds by saying “no,” but she does not intervene before the student is dragged away and knocked unconscious.

The incident came to light later that day after a school administrator saw the recording and alerted police. The victim’s mother, Elizabeth Caulder, says a parent sent the video to the principal after seeing it on social media.

It is unclear whether the student was given medical attention directly after the incident or if he was seen by a school nurse only after administrators got involved. However, Caulder says he did not receive immediate medical attention.

“The teacher let him get back up, get back in his seat and continue with his schoolwork instead of sending him to the nurse or the principal,” Caulder said. “It’s very disappointing to know that my son can’t be safe in the classroom.”

The police report states the suspect told school administrators he was “just playing.” After her son was knocked out, Caulder says he fell and hit his head, which caused a concussion.

Meanwhile, students in the background can be heard saying, “He’s dead. He’s dead.”

“When I heard that, I was like, ‘How can these kids be laughing and joking and thinking it’s okay that another student possibly killed another kid?’” Caulder said. “The teacher should have stepped in as soon as he saw what was going on.”

Caulder says she will be pressing charges against the suspect, the teacher and the child recording the incident.

The Charleston County School District said late Thursday that the teacher has been placed on paid administrative leave. The district also released a statement on the incident:

District and school staff are aware of the incident and the video. We are investigating this as a very serious matter and are following district protocols to address the situation.

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