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School discipline begins with a noose

Out of Newark, NJ, the story of a substitute teacher, Albert Coleman Jr., whose interesting disciplinary techniques ran afoul of the law. The lynching symbolism is a nice touch.

Coleman, 61, of East Orange, had been charged with aggravated assault for the March 29, 2004 incident during an after-school program. When a grand jury declined to indict him on that charge, prosecutors tried him on reduced charges of assault and disorderly conduct.

…Prosecutors said Coleman wanted to punish Reyes for not following instructions to do his homework. Ali said the substitute asked the boy if he knew what “strangulation” was and made him stand on a chair.

Coleman took the looped end of a decorative string that was hanging from a light fixture, put it around the boy’s neck and pulled it tight by kicking the chair on which the child was standing. In his testimony to a grand jury, Coleman said he was only playing with Reyes and that the string was never around his neck.

He was convicted of disorderly conduct and assault, and given a year probation. Since he had no priors, Coleman avoided jail time, but this conviction ensures that he can no longer work as a teacher.

Hat tip, King Cranky

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Pam Spaulding

Pam Spaulding