A PE teacher in Utah faces charges of child abuse after he was caught on camera slamming a 14-year old boy into a wall and then pushing him to the ground in the school gym on Thursday.
Anthony Robbie Chidester, 40, from Eagle Mountain charter school, faces one count of child abuse, but claimed in a statement that he did it because he students relentlessly bully him.
Surveillance video coupled with color footage from a student’s cell phone video shows what happened in the gym and hallway at the school.
In the short clip, the teacher can be seen grabbing an unidentified boy, 14, and pushing him against the wall before dragging him to the floor.
Anthony Robbie Chidester, 40, was fired after allegedly shoving a student into a wall and then throwing them to the floor
Other students then rush towards the pair and surround them.
Dillan Bunker, a classmate of the victim, said it all began after a girl in his PE class received a phone call.
‘The teacher grabbed for the phone and elbowed her in the face,’ Bunker said to Fox13. ‘[The student] thought it was on purpose, and he stood up and was like, ‘Hey don’t do that.”
Although the gym class went ahead as normal, as the balls were being put away there was an interaction between Chidester and a male student followed by the alleged assault.
‘He’s dribbling the ball, right, and the teacher goes “Give it to me. And stop dribbling it”,’ Bunker said.
‘[The student] goes “I’m putting it away, like you said”. And he goes, “Stop dribbling it”. So [the student] puts it in the closet. And the teacher grabs him, flips him around, into like a little hallway.’
Surveillance footage and cellphone video shows a student being thrown to the ground
The footage shows the student being pushed against a wall and the student fighting back
Students nearby then rushed to help their classmate under attack
‘The teacher grabbed him, slammed him against the wall. Then he picked the student up, and slammed him onto the floor,’ Bunker added.
At one point the teacher appears to put his hands around the student’s neck.
‘The whole class tried to get Chidester off the student, but the teacher just lost his cool and flipped out,’ Bunker said.
The student was bruised and scraped in the incident, suffering minor injuries to his neck and shoulder, but was was otherwise reportedly unharmed.
After being thrown against a wall, footage shows the student being slammed to the ground
Some of the assault was captured on a student cellphone from a different angle
Rockwell Charter High School have since fired Chidester and provided statements to the Utah County Sheriff’s Office.
Faced with the video evidence, Chidester has since admitted what he did and acknowledged that it was inappropriate.
The child abuse charge is a Class A misdemeanor.
Administrators asked the gym teacher to leave the school after learning of the incident however he is listed on the school’s website as a physical education/health teacher.
The alleged assault appears to have only ended after other students dragged the teacher away
Chidester has since released a statement about his outburst claiming he was the one being bullied:
‘I am absolutely mortified by this experience and truly sorry for my actions. I am so sorry to the young man and his family and feel just gutted from this experience. I allowed an incident of disrespect, bullying, teasing and insubordination from a student to escalate.
‘As an educator I have been bullied, I have been threatened with physical harm, told to F-off on a daily basis, teased that I am powerless, told that I am worthless, had balls and weights thrown at me. Students have touched my legs and pulled the hair out of my calves and filmed me while I taught and mocked me.
‘Again this in no way excuses my behavior, and I truly am sorry for my actions, but I don’t think people realize the conditions that we have to teach in. I am completely heartbroken because have loved my opportunity to teach.
He will appear in court sometime in the next few weeks.