A Bronx middle school teacher is changing her story after facing severe backlash for showing her students a video clip of an Islamic State terrorist beheading a journalist last year in class.
Alexiss Nazario initially came under fire for showing her students at South Bronx Academy for Applied Media a clip featuring a masked Islamic State terrorist holding a knife to his victim’s throat, according to the New York Post. Nazario, who faced the possibility of immediate termination from her post, ultimately paid a $300 fine for failing to preview the clip or receive the school principal’s permission to show it to her middle school students.
— Eric Sanders (@SandersFirmPC) March 19, 2016
Although the students confirmed that the video clip blacked out the actual beheading while still showing the man’s severed head placed on top of his chest afterwards, a few of the eighth-graders were interviewed by investigators after they said they were “freaked out” by the violent clip.
“I’m scared at what I just saw. Ms. Nazario showed a beheading video and I was really scared,” one girl said to representatives from the Office of the Special Commissioner of Investigation, according to the Post. “I don’t even watch scary videos at home.”
Another student recalled that Nazario told the class, “This is what’s going on in the real world,” as she played the clip for them, the Post reported.
Although Nazario initially told investigators that the kids were at fault for searching for the video clip on a computer that was attached to an overhead screen during her class on terrorism and the Islamic State, she has since changed her story, saying that the incident was an “accident,” according to a Friday interview with the Post.
“I was scrolling looking for a specific video. I clicked on the wrong thing. It was a mistake. It was an error,” Nazario told the Post. “I freaked out. I had no idea that was playing.”
Nazario, who has been employed as a teacher at the middle school for 26 years with an annual salary of $105,000, now works as a “roving substitute” at different schools, officials told the Post.
“This teacher demonstrated a complete lack of judgment, and this incident betrayed our schools’ promise to provide a safe and supportive environment,” said DOE spokeswoman Devora Kaye. “We sought to terminate this teacher’s employment on the recommendation of the Special Commissioner of Investigation, and ultimately followed the decision of the independent arbitrator.”
(H/T: Bizpac Review)
Front-page image via Shutterstock