Parents are taking their kids out of a California teacher’s second grade classroom after a video was posted of the educator threatening a student on a skateboard.
Thomas Hammer, a teacher at Cielo Vista Elementary School, is seen threatening to hit the young man with his own board in the video posted on YouTube last year titled "Crazy Old Guy Attacks Skaters." The boy can be heard cursing in alarm as the teacher raises the skateboard as if to strike a blow and then throws it up in the air.
Hammer told the Orange County Register that a "higher power" compelled him to grab the board. He claims that he was taking the young boarders out of harm's way.
God-fearing or not, Hammer was slapped with a felony arrest and placed on administrative leave two months later, KABC reports.
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But Hammer was back at school on Tuesday. The school district ended his leave, but tried to console parents by saying it is "committed to working toward a resolution to this matter."
Cielo Vista parents are less than convinced.
"It's shameful and unacceptable that the district has even gotten to this point, and that he's on our campus in the first place," said Karly Foster, a parent and the vice president of the school PTA. "As parents, we should feel comfortable to send our students to a safe environment."
Foster said her three kids were scared to go back to class after seeing the video of the teacher’s unprovoked outburst.
"That should never be a feeling in any child's heart to be afraid to come to school," she said.
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Hammer appeared for a pre-trial hearing Thursday and pleaded not guilty to the charge, since reduced to a misdemeanor.
The PTA will take up the matter at a meeting Thursday.