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'That young lady attacked me, and she went for blood': Teacher who fought back against HS student over confiscated phone defends her actions

Image source: Atlanta Black Star video screenshot (left); Twitter video screenshot via @KeenanWRAL (right)

The North Carolina substitute teacher who was caught on video last week physically fighting back against a high school student over a confiscated cell phone is speaking out and defending her actions.

“That young lady attacked me, and she went for blood," Xaviera Steele said on video following the viral incident.

Xaviera SteeleImage source: Atlanta Black Star video screenshot

What's the background?

Steele and a juvenile student were captured on video arguing over the phone in a Rocky Mount High School classroom last Monday morning. The student appears to attempt to grab the phone from Steele's hand; Steele then shoves the student away. The student swings at Steele with her right arm, after which Steele brings the student to the floor, throws a few punches, and pins the screaming student while hollering for someone to get another teacher into the room.

Both Steele and the student have been charged with simple assault, WTVD-TV said.

Teacher speaks out

Steele discussed the altercation in a lengthy video that's part of an Atlanta Black Star story about the incident.

“I’ve been working with the young people for 22 years," she said. "I started out in high school tutoring young folks. In elementary, I taught dance, cheerleading, drill team. I’ve taught Sunday school … praise and worship dance.” Steele also said she provided “office support in the school district” before becoming a "substitute teacher.”

She added, "In all my 22 years, never have I ever experienced what I experienced this Monday. I’ve never been attacked by young folks. I love young people; this is why I work with them. I have a heart for them. That young lady attacked me, and she went for blood.” Steele also said the student ripped off an “inch of my hairline.”

Steele also said a fake page had been created that had her saying, “F the kids and F the job.” She rebuffed that claim: “It was never F the kids because our kids are our future. But ... [the student in question] was in my space ... I followed protocol for whoever said that I touched her first. ... And I tried to call for an administrator or somebody at the office three times." She later said she "was backed in a corner" by the student.

Steele added that in the space of a month one teacher got "her head kicked in" and another teacher "had a gun pulled on her."

“As much as I love the kids, I cannot put my life or my livelihood in danger any more," Steele continued. "I will be saying goodbye to this profession. I went to school three times for real estate. Oh yes, I’m being faced with charges as well. ... If I get a charge on my record, there goes my career again. … I have four children. My children would never. You best believe I raised my kids right. They would never disrespect authority of any kind or an adult. They know to come to me.”

After thanking those who donated to a GoFundMe page her husband created — which has raised over $10,600 as of Monday morning — Steele also lamented that "so many people are leaving the [teaching] profession."

"Tell your kids to put their phones away," she also said, before pleading with parents to "please make sure your children are following directions, respecting authority ... otherwise there's a stick or ... a police officer's gun or somebody's gun ... waiting for them."

Steele added: “Please raise your children, spend time with them, love on them. Teach them right [from] wrong."

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