Video Shows Altercation Between Teacher And Student

News No Comments on Video Shows Altercation Between Teacher And Student 1791


LUMPKIN CO., GA

Channel 2 Action News recently published a video involving an incident between a now-former Lumpkin County teacher and baseball coach and a 17-year-old Lumpkin County student in the lunchroom cafeteria of Lumpkin County’s alternative school, during school hours on April 21, 2017. The altercation allegedly began over a styrofoam lunch tray.   

In the video, Tim Garner, 61, is seen putting his hand on the student’s neck, while forcing him onto a lunch table. Garner was charged with first degree cruelty to children and simple battery, which are both felonies; he turned himself in to the Lumpkin County Detention Center shortly after the charges were filed. He also resigned from his position with Lumpkin County Schools.

Garner states that he had asked the student to clean up the mess he made in the cafeteria, which escalated into a physical struggle. According to Garner, the student, whom he asserted was a troubled teen who had a history of violence, became physical with Garner and his main concern, he said, was to restrain the student to prevent him from swinging.

The event recently resurfaced after Channel 2 Action News released the video to the public, which has been available via open records request since 2017. Lumpkin County superintendent, Dr. Rob Brown, released a statement earlier today, in response to the video and the investigation, “As educators, our primary responsibility is to keep our students safe and free from harm. We expect the actions of our employees to support this mission at all times”.   

Michael Seiden, WSBTV reporter, received the following statement from the student’s attorney, Zack Tumlin, on Friday, August 10.

“Coach Garner’s assertions that my client is a troubled and violent youth is absurd, as is the assertion that my client initiated any contact with him. The truth of the matter, as the video clearly shows, is that Coach Garner decided to subdue and choke a child for almost 50 seconds as a method of exercising discretionary discipline for a minor infraction in the lunchroom. We expect Coach Garner to be held accountable and take responsibility for his lapse in judgment, and for the School District to do the right thing in settling the civil claims that will follow the criminal prosecution.”

 

While the alternative school does provide an alternative learning environment for students who have had behavioral issues, it is also designed to help students who may benefit from the unique learning conditions due to anxiety and other issues that may hinder them from succeeding in a traditional public school setting. Garner is set to appear in court on Tuesday, August 14.

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