A Georgia teacher was suspended after he pretended to shoot first-graders to teach them about the Sandy Hook Elementary School massacre.
The teacher at Odyssey School in Newnan, Ga., identified as Mariano Pacetti, was playing a kind of hide-and-seek game where he encouraged students to hide while he pretended to be a gunman, the Newnan Times-Herald reported. He formed a gun with his fingers and pointed to one boy and said, “Bang you’re dead.”
School director Andy Geeter told the newspaper Pacetti “exercised poor judgement” in the activity, which some parents said gave their children nightmares, according to WAGA-TV. Twenty first-grade students and six adults were killed when a gunman shot his way into the school in Newtown, Conn. and opened fire before killing himself in December.
Pacetti is a middle school band instructor who was substitute teaching a first-grade physical education class. Letters went home to parents about the incident, and Pacetti, described as one of the school’s most popular teachers, was suspended and ordered to undergo professional training, WAGA reported.
“It was an administrative decision made by me after conversations with the parents, classroom teacher and Mr. Pacetti as well as consultation with our head of school. He is now back at work,” Geeter said in an email to the Huffington Post.
The school offered the students counseling, though none accepted the offer.
“There are things that you can and can’t do, and it shows, if nothing else, that you just can’t do security off the cuff. You have to train and prepare for it,” Geeter told WAGA.