Teen, verbally attacked by teacher, now cyber-bullied after teacher's firing
A Sarasota Military Academy student is being attacked online after a March 31 video of math teacher, Captain Jeffrey Daughtry verbally abusing him led to Daughtry's firing on April 4.
The child's mother, who does not want her or her son's name reported, cried while speaking to reporter John Rogers on Thursday. She said her teenage son lives in fear after receiving threats from other students on Facebook.
"My son feels intimidated, like he's going to be assaulted," she told WFLA Tampa through a translator. "And neither the school nor the professor are putting a stop to this.
"[Daughtry] needs to recognize what he did; he ought to ask for forgiveness because he told a 15-year old boy that he's going to kill him. I think that is serious. As a parent, I'm angry."
The verbal abuse occurred last month when, according to Captain Daughtry, his 15-year old student was disrupting class. He asked the boy to leave, but the student returned to the classroom and cursed at the teacher.
Daughtry said that in 15 years of teaching, he has never been cursed at, and that triggered his anger.
A cell phone video shows the teacher shoving the student into a chair, getting in the child's face, and screaming, "You open your mouth again and you will die!"
Daughtry then knocks a chair over before storming away.
School officials found out about the video on April 1, and fired the teacher three days later.
Although Captain Daughtry admits to suffering from PTSD and having occasional emotional outbursts, he maintains that he would never physically hurt his students.
"I am a threat to no one," he told WFLA.
Many community members agree.
There is a massive campaign in Sarasota to reinstate the ousted teacher. T-shirts have been created with Daughtry's face and the words "We take care of our own!" on the front. Cars are emblazoned with the message, "#TeamDaughtry," and "He will back."
The teacher stated that over 100 parents and students have reached out to him to voice their support.
He also said he's considering suing the school if he is not reinstated.
"For a military academy to knowingly terminate a disabled veteran, it's a despicable act," he told WFLA.
Sarasota Military Academy also told the boy's mother that her son cannot return next semester. She, too, is considering filing a lawsuit.
"They're placing the blame on my son," the mother said.
"If this doesn't end, I'll have to call the sheriff's office, and I'll have to pursue legal action."