Teachers that spit on their students should be punished accordingly. It is unprofessional, unhygienic and completely unacceptable behaviour. But there is more to the story of maths teacher David Pecoraro, who was caught on camera spitting at a boy and has since been relegated to administrative duties as a result of his moment of madness.
The video shows clearly a teacher pushed to the edge of sanity. A student trying to attach his used gum on the teachers rear is rightly put in his place by the teacher. Teachers, especially male teachers, are extremely sensitive with the dangers of being accused of inappropriate behaviour. Students that purposely touch a male teacher’s backside are putting that teacher in a very uncomfortable position.
The video also shows the lack of respect he was getting from his other students. As he screams “I want to teach you maths”, we see a student sleeping and others laughing and goading the defiant, foul-mouthed, gum chewing student.
A teacher was secretly filmed on a cell phone struggling with a male student before appearing to spit in the boy’s face.
David Pecoraro, a high school math teacher, is now working in ‘administration’, after the footage was uploaded to YouTube.
Pecoraro, who taught at Beach Channel High School in Queens, New York, has a row with the student for a few minutes before the confrontation turns physical.
Pecoraro is being investigated on allegations of corporal punishment.
The teacher, who has been in the profession for 19 years, can be heard saying in the clip: ‘You can’t make contact with me, that’s illegal.’
He then tries to explain a math problem to the student who is ignoring the lesson and covering his head with a jacket.
At one point, the student, whose identity isn’t revealed, appears to try to hit the teacher.
Pecoraro then tells the teenager: ‘You’re going to go to jail, you don’t touch me… I want to teach you math.’
The altercation is witnessed by a few other students in the class – along with one boy in front of the camera who is asleep with his head on the desk.
The row continues until the teacher appears to spit at the student who then spits back at him.
The grainy film cuts out after Pecoraro can be seen dragging the student out of his seat.
As bad a this teacher’s actions was, the behaviour of the class was absolutely deplorable. This video should be enough to implicate at least two students with some fairly serious breaches of protocol. First there was the student who should be expelled for inappropriate touching and insubordinate behaviour. Then there is the student who filmed the incident. I don’t care how juicy the footage is, any student filming class and uploading the footage on YouTube deserves to be punished.
Instead, I fear that the only person punished was the one who wanted nothing more than the ability to do his job without being touched, mocked or harassed. If those two other students got off without punishment, it reinforces their despicable behaviour, and allows them to continue their bloodsport.
I pity the replacement maths teacher. I fear they are mere fodder for the next potential YouTube hit.