A New Jersey math teacher is under fire after she told a group of teenagers playing football to ‘die a long, painful death’ from coronavirus.
The Steinert High School staffer, identified by The Trentonian as Nicole Griggs, became enraged at students last Thursday after they apparently flouted the state’s stay-at-home orders.
Cell phone footage of the incident shows Griggs standing behind a chain link fence at a local park as she screamed at the teenagers.
‘Am I screaming loud enough that you can hear me over her music? ‘Parks closed. You will get arrested if the cops come.” Griggs said.
Nicole Griggs, identified by The Trentonian, told teenagers playing football outside to ‘die a long, painful death’ from coronavirus
After one boy asked if the group can move to a nearby location, Griggs began to unabashedly scold the group.
‘Parks closed. The whole area. Get it through your thick head,’ she yelled.
‘You are the reason we are in this situation. You are the problem, not the solution.’
Griggs then said she doesn’t care that the teenagers are recording the exchange and encouraged them to share it on social media.
‘Go ahead keep recording. Who are you going to show it to? Post me on social media. You’re the idiot doing the wrong thing.
‘I’m just trying to save your a** and save your life. But die, OK. I hope both of you get the coronavirus. I hope you both die a long, painful death.’
Griggs is listed as a math teacher at Steinert High School (pictured) in Hamilton Township
Griggs: ‘’m just trying to save your a** and save your life. But die, OK. I hope both of you get the coronavirus. I hope you both die a long, painful death’
It’s unclear if Griggs (pictured) has faced any disciplinary actions as of Sunday
As suggested, the teenagers shared the shocking footage on Snapchat and even posted it to Tik Tok, a social media platform that has become synonymous with viral videos.
‘Y’all Mrs Griggs is losing her damn mind how tf is she a teacher #coronavirus,’ the Tik Tok caption read.
A Steinert High School freshman who witnessed the incident told The Trentonian that he never had a class with Griggs, but several of his friends recognized her from school.
The freshman added that Griggs threatened to call the police, and an officer later showed up at the park. The teenagers weren’t cited and were told to go somewhere else.
The group left the Hamilton-area park soon after the tense conversation with Griggs.
‘When she said that, I was shocked,’ the student said.
‘I didn’t know someone would say something like that, especially a teacher. She should be smarter with her words.’
The Trentonian reports that Griggs has a history of lashing out of resident’s ignoring social distancing orders.
In a Facebook post by Nikki Leigh, which Grigg’s allegedly posts under on the social media platform, she shared a similar story of her admonishing others.
‘We are surrounded by idiots!’ the post reads.
‘Rode our bikes near Kuser Park this afternoon and what [do we] see but a younger couple with their daughter maybe 2/3 years old UNDOING the caution tape around the jungle gym so she could slide.
‘I totally called them out on it, wished illness on them and commented that it was scary to even think they were parents.
A Facebook post reportedly run by Nicole Griggs shared a different incident where she called out residents flouting stay-at-home orders
‘Their response: “We were going to put it back.”‘
The Trentonian confirmed the page belonged to Griggs.
Mayor Jeff Martin of Hamilton Township said he wasn’t aware of the video, but criticized the teacher’s comments.
‘This is a very serious thing. We’ve got at least 50 people who have actually died from it, 50 families,’ he said.
‘It’s not something to joke around about. Teacher or not, it’s unacceptable.’
Hamilton Township has 724 COVID-19 cases and 51 deaths. New Jersey has more than 100,000 cases and at least 5,800 deaths.
Schools superintendent Scott Rocco said the school was aware of the video and will open an investigation.
‘We will address the issue immediately,’ he said.
It’s unclear if Griggs will face any disciplinary action.
New Jersey, one of the hardest-hit states in the pandemic, issued stay-at-home orders on March 21 with no specified end date.
‘No one has given more thought or is more eager to restart our economy than I am, but if we don’t get the sequencing right, we put more lives at risk. The only path to a sustainable economic recovery is through a strong healthcare recovery,’ said Gov. Phil Murphy in a press release.
‘A coordinated, regional approach, informed by a multi-state council of experts, will help us avoid a major setback with potentially disastrous consequences.
New Jersey joined a coalition with Northeastern states, like New York and Connecticut, to coordinate the reopening of their economies.