A Milwaukee teacher's aide has been charged with physical abuse of a child after he was captured attacking a high school student on camera. During the attack, he choked the young student while calling him a "ni**er" and a "little motherf***er."
Jasmine Pennix, the 39-year-old aide, was fired from Bay View High School for attacking the 14-year-old boy during a Wednesday biology class, is now facing up to six years in jail along with a $10,000 fine if he's found guilty.
The Journal Sentinel reported that the incident occurred after several students were "ripping on each other" in class. When Pennix tried to quiet the class down, the victim reportedly told him to "shut the f*** up." Pennix's first response was to pull the chair out from under the 14-year-old and put him in a headlock. They shortly separated, but when the student told Pennix, "come on, do something," Pennix reacted violently.
In the video, Pennix is seen shoving the victim onto the classroom's desks and then onto the ground. He then puts his hands around the student's neck, calling the student a "ni**er" and asking, "The f*** I tell you, you little motherf****er?"
Pennix, who before this incident had a clean record, was fired and arrested the next day. He is being held in Milwaukee County Jail on $25,000 bail. His next hearing will be held on May 10th.
A parent of one of the school's students spoke to CBS58 about the incident. "He should have just marched out right away," James Sinkey said. "There's no need for action like that, it's just too much."
State senator Lena Taylor also expressed her shock, releasing a statement condemning the violent response to the misbehaving student. "I believe violence is a major educational barrier for our kids," Taylor wrote. "We need to create schools and communities free of violence so that our kids can focus on learning not looking over their shoulders." She added, "Until that day comes, we must ensure that our kids have access to school therapists who they can talk to about any trauma they experienced. Additionally, we must ensure workers have special training to address conflict."
As for the young student, he was taken to the hospital to be treated for minor injuries to his neck, hips and back but is expected to make a full recovery.
(Photo: Jose Luis Pelaez Inc/Corbis)