News 12 11pm /Sunday, March 16, 2014
AUGUSTA, Ga. (WRDW) -- A middle school teacher on leave, who says cutting a student's shirt with scissors was a joke, is now getting support.
News 12 talked to the mother of a former student who says the teacher, Thurston Williams, should face a punishment, but should not lose his job or face criminal charges with the sheriff's office that the victim's mother told News 12 she is asking for.
"As a parent I would be a little upset, but I do think this has gone too far," said Jessica Wells
Wells says pressing criminal charges against teacher, Thurston Williams, for cutting a student's t-shirt is too much. She says being on leave is enough punishment for the Tutt Middle School teacher.
"I think jail is more of a place for murderers and child molesters--not community leader," she told News 12.
Wells says she believes what Williams told school investigators is true--this is a joke gone bad.
"I think teachers and students develop relationships where they become close to each other like family. They joke, they play, they laugh," Wells said.
"He was a real funny and cool teacher," said Jadyn Wells
Jadyn is Wells' son and Williams' former student. He said Williams taught and tutored him in math-- even got him to enjoy the subject--and doesn't think the teacher was trying to hurt anyone.
"He probably was messing around with the person, but he wasn't trying to cause any harm to that person," he told News 12.
The Wells' aren't the only one supporting the teacher. Another student credits Williams with helping him go to college and being a good influence to others students. And even though she supports Williams being in the classroom--Wells admits a situation like this would scare any parent.
"I would be a little upset. I'm a mom and if i didn't know the teacher, I would definitely be upset. I'd be like who are they," she told News 12.
The BOE investigator says he doesn't believe Mr. Williams meant any harm to the student, but for now the teacher is out of a classroom.
The student in the middle of this situation told News 12 he liked his teacher and is hoping for an apology.
The mother says she will pursue charges with the Richmond County Sheriff's office.