A video has recently surfaced on Facebook, showing a sixth grade teacher angrily confronting a young student for catching him watching an inappropriate video on his work computer.
The grainy video which has already been shared nearly 7,000 times on Facebook takes place in a classroom at East Bank Middle School in West Virginia. The recording starts seconds before Thomas Yohn, a math teacher at the school, bursts into the room and begins berating 13-year-old Jeffrey Province. The clip, taken on an iPad by Province’s sixth grade classmate Tiffany Monk, shows the entire teacher-student confrontation unfold.
“Next time you open your big stinkin’ mouth pal, I will write you up and send you to the office for coming into my room without permission,” the teacher begins. “Is that clear?! What I watch as an adult is my choice.”
The teacher continues to chastise the student with aggressive body language, further accusing him of entering his classroom uninvited and justifying that he has the right to view what he was watching.
“Now I’m telling you, you keep your big flap shut. Because I’m an adult and I can view whatever I want,” Yohn says before storming out of the room.
The original incident occurred earlier in the day as Province was the first student to enter his morning math class. It was then that he stumbled upon his teacher viewing something inappropriate on his computer.
“I saw something no 13-year-old should ever see in a school,” the 6th grade student told West Virginia’s 13 News.
From there, Jeffrey went to his school principal about the incident. Fight the New Drug reached out to a community member who is aware of the situation, and they told us the school held an assembly that same afternoon to talk to students about the incident. Upon reaching out to East Bank Principal Michael Wilkinson, he confirmed to FTND that an assembly did occur to “inform the students that the video wasn’t what it seemed.” Wilkinson said that when Province came to him, he took down his information and immediately went to the teacher’s room.
When Province and his classmates returned to their classroom after the assembly, their teacher, Melinda Blair, told her students that Mr. Yohn would be coming in to talk with the class. Our community source further informed us that many students have described Mr. Yohn as having a temper. They say he makes nasty remarks and calls students bad names on a daily basis. Our source says this knowledge undoubtedly prompted Tiffany Monk to start recording prior to Yohn’s entrance into the classroom, knowing that an explosive reaction was about to take place.
Jeffrey Province’s mother told 13 News that she was never contacted by the school or the board of education about the incident and had to find out about what happened on Facebook. Principal Wilkinson told Fight the New Drug that he contacted the mother as soon as he saw the video of Yohn’s blow up. When FTND asked if the teacher has been suspended, Wilkinson said he could not comment on the investigation but did say that the teacher is “not at school today.”
In the meantime, Jeffrey told 13 News that he has fearfully stayed home from school. He says that he can’t imagine going back to East Bank Middle School if the teacher came back.
“I was afraid that he would do something to hurt me because I told on him and I might make him lose his job. So that’s pretty much the reason why I’m scared,” said Jeffrey.
Jeffrey’s mother says that she feels let down by Kanawha County Schools.
“He is supposed to be safe at school and this should have never happened, at all. I don’t talk to my kid like that and he is not going to talk to my kid like that,” she said.
As an organization dedicated to educating and raising awareness on the real harmful effects of pornography, we are sincerely disturbed when thinking about a middle school teacher watching anything that could be construed as inappropriate in a school setting. As we know from the thousands of personal accounts we receive from all over the world, a child’s first exposure to pornography can often lead to a lifelong addiction. Schools should be a safe place for kids, and when teachers are watching inappropriate videos at schools full of middle schoolers, it is no longer a safe zone.
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