A Texas high school student apparently assaulted his teacher during class on Tuesday. This reportedly occurred after the teacher took away the teen’s cell phone. Another student captured the disturbing incident, ironically, on a smartphone.
The troubling 22-second video apparently shows a confrontational male student in a black t-shirt getting behind the desk of Cedar Hill High School physics teacher Bobby Soehnge. The angry teen forcefully pushes and knocks papers to the floor with his right hand. He then gets into his teacher’s face and threatens: “This is the last time asking your stupid ass.” The teen raises his left hand, reaches underneath Soehnge’s jaw, and shoves the teacher, pushing him back toward the white board. As he stomps away, the student demands: “Give me my damn phone.”
Reportedly, the video circulated throughout the high school community and then, went viral after parent Chris Hunt, whose daughter attends the school, posted it on Facebook.
Students can be heard voicing disbelief as the incident unfolded. Yet, throughout, Soehnge sat calmly in his chair. Subsequently, the teacher placed the student’s mobile device on the tabletop. The agitated teen grabbed his phone and stormed out of view.
“I was shocked to see such egregious behavior,” said Cedar High School Principal Michael McDonald. He told WFAA: “That’s not something we condone.” He said the student was upset because Soehnge took away his phone as it was not supposed to be out during class time.
Since the incident, Cedar Hill ISD spokeswoman Jamie Brown told the Fort Worth Star-Telegram: “Disciplinary action has been taken against the student.” She added: “The student apologized to the teacher, and fortunately this incident is not indicative of the entire school year.”
McDonald said that Soehnge met with the student after the class and “they talked, they hugged.” He stated: “He spent a lot of time working with the student through the course of the year. They have a great relationship and that was just a bad day the student was having.”
Reportedly, the student and his mother also apologized to Cedar Hill ISD officials. The school district did not divulge what kind of disciplinary action would be taken. They also withheld the student’s identity because of federal privacy laws.
Soehnge said his priority during the teen’s feverish misconduct was to deescalate the situation. “The important thing was not to add any energy into the dynamic that would make the situation more complicated.”
The forgiving teacher told the Fort Worth newspaper that he was not pleased the video went viral because “it shows one kid on what is actually a pretty bad day even for that kid.” Soehnge said: “I mean he’s really not a bad kid.”
On Wednesday, Hunt, the dad who posted the video, and his daughter showered Soehnge with several gift bags filled with T-shirts and a gift card to express appreciation for how the teacher handled the unfortunate situation.
According to the school district staff page, Soehnge has taught at Cedar Hill High for four years. It says he loves teaching physics and called “his greatest passion” is creating and nurturing a love for science in his students in a “supportive and risk-free environment.”
As of press time, the video received more than 500,000 views and shared nearly 6,500 times. Of the roughly 2,600 “likes,” around 1,400 responded with “angry face” emoticons.
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