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Teacher accused of throwing student across room while separating boys during fight

Incident captured on cellphone video at Homestead Middle School

HOMESTEAD, Fla. – A teacher is under fire after some said he got too rough with a student while trying to break up a fight last week at Homestead Middle School.

The fight, which was recorded by another student, broke out between two students on the fourth day of school during a class for children with emotional and behavioral issues. 

The teacher, David Spell,  is seen immediately trying to break the two boys up, but while separating them he throws one student across the room.

Spell has been a teacher for nine years, according to school officials, has had a clean record with no prior cases against him. 

Homestead mother Santana Gardner said her son, a 7th-grader, is the boy seen in the video. She did not want him to be identified, but said his arm is bruised.

"I was more upset because I'm trusting [the teacher] with my child. No one notified me about anything - any injuries going on with my child," Gardner said.

Gardner says she found out about the incident after the video - shot by another student -- was posted to Facebook. 

A schools spokesperson says an investigation is underway.

"The employee has been reassigned away from the classroom while the case is reviewed," spokesperson Daisy Gonzalez-Diego told Local 10 in a statement.

Gardner said she thought Spell crossed the line.

"If you're going to restrain my child, do it the proper way. I have no problem with that. But don't slam my child like he's trash," Gardner said.

Parents and grandparents who saw the video said the teacher went too far.

"That's wrong, that's really wrong. He should have never thrown that boy down," Nadine Bolton said.

"That's not right. That's not the way you separate a fight," Analise Vargas said. "I've been in bad schools. I've seen the way they separate fights. It's never been that drastic where you need to throw a kid on the other side of the damn classroom."

School officials said Spell has been moved out of the classroom while the investigation is ongoing.


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