School system: Teacher placed on leave following 'altercation' with student

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Friday, May 17, 2019

RICHMOND COUNTY, GA (WRDW/WAGT) -- A Richmond County School System teacher has been placed on paid administrative leave following what's been described as an "altercation" between himself and a student.

According to a statement from the district, Akenga Smith has been placed on leave while an investigation into the incident continues.

"The Richmond County School System strives to maintain a safe academic atmosphere where all students can learn and grow. Incidents of this nature are unacceptable and will not be tolerated in our schools," the statement said.

Meanwhile, students at Glenn Mills are reacting after seeing the video.

Ricky Holmes, a 7th grader, saw the video and says it happened in a 6th grade class.

Holmes claims Smith has a reputation.

"He's kind of a mean teacher," Holmes said.

Holmes' dad, Willie Walker, was outraged by the video.

"I'd never give a teacher permission to discipline my child physically," Walker said.

"If that was my kid, I would probably be in trouble right now."

Texas Groce, a father of a 2-year-old child, said he would never want to see a teacher put their hands on his daughter and that the entire situation should have been handled it differently.

"He could have called the principal, security, anything," Groce said.

But Groce says the student was in the wrong, too.

"It could've been descalated from both parties," Groce said. "The child could've walked away, the adult could've walked away. It didn't have to go that far."

The district also promised "appropriate administrative action" would be taken in "due course."

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