Fresno substitute teacher caught on camera grabbing student's neck after dispute over cell phone

Tuesday, May 7, 2019
Fresno substitute teacher grabs student's neck after dispute over cell phone
CAUGHT ON CAMERA: The student's mother says the argument started over the student's cell phone. Now, she's threatening legal action.

FRESNO, Calif. (KFSN) -- The shocking video comes from inside a Fresno High School classroom.

"He had no right to put his hands on my son and had no right to call him names," said Donna Packard.

17-year-old Jerome Billingsly says a substitute English teacher he identified at Mr. Dunbar asked the teen to put his phone away while in class on Friday.

The student says after he did, the teacher came back and asked him to hand his phone over.

Billingsly declined, and he says the substitute called a security guard and asked him to leave while calling him names. That's when things took a turn for the worse.

"He wouldn't let me move. He said go around me," Billingsly said. "I asked him nicely to move, and I went around him and that's when he choked me."

Full Video: Fresno substitute teacher caught on camera grabbing Jerome Billingsly's neck after a dispute over a cell phone.

Donna Packard is stunned, saying her son never dealt with this teacher before.

"My son called me, saying the school was threatening to suspend him. Saying he was at fault for this incident," Packard said. "He sounded distraught. Emotionally hurt. He's already a special education student. Calling those names didn't do anything for his self-esteem."

Packard says she reached out to the Fresno Unified School District.

The district did confirm there was an incident, and the administration along with support staff immediately responded.

Along with parents being notified, they say, "no one was injured, but appropriate disciplinary actions were taken," and that "the substitute teacher is no longer teaching for the district."

Billingsly says while he isn't afraid of returning to class, he is upset from the lack of support.

"The school should have the student's back...that's what they say at my school," he said. "They didn't have my back."

Packard says it's every parent's nightmare and says she'll likely take legal action against the substitute.