A Bronx, New York, teacher who showed a video of ISIS beheading a journalist will keep her job, but is required to pay a fine.
During the 2014-2015 school year, a South Bronx Academy for Applied Media teacher Alexiss Nazario played an ISIS beheading video for a classroom of eighth grade students, aged between 13 and 14, the New York Post reports.
She acknowledged in court that she made a mistake by not previewing the clip or obtaining permission by the principal.
The video, which showed a masked man holding a knife to the neck of his victim, highly disturbed the students.
“I’m scared at what I just saw," one girl told a school administrator after seeing the video, according to an investigation by the Office of the Special Commissioner of Investigation. "Ms. Nazario showed a beheading video and I was really scared."
“I don’t even watch scary videos at home,” the girl added.
“It was gross,” a male student said, adding that he lost sleep the night after seeing the video, which made him feel “uncomfortable.”
In court, the students testified that the actual beheading was blacked out but they did see the aftermath where the man’s severed head was placed on his own chest.
Nazario reportedly tried to blame the children for finding the video on a computer during a lesson on Iraq, terrorism and ISIS.
Two students told investigators it was Nazario who cued the video.
“This is what’s going on in the real world,” a student said Nazario told the class.
Nazario told the New York Post on March 18 that she accidentally played the wrong video.
“I was scrolling looking for a specific video, she said. "I clicked on the wrong thing. It was a mistake. It was an error. I freaked out. I had no idea that was playing.”
The Department of Education wanted Nazario terminated because of the video and two unrelated charges, but was unsuccessful given her 26 years of service and good record. Instead, she will pay a $300 fine.
“This teacher demonstrated a complete lack of judgment, and this incident betrayed our schools’ promise to provide a safe and supportive environment,” Department Of Education spokeswoman Devora Kaye said. “We sought to terminate this teacher’s employment on the recommendation of the Special Commissioner of Investigation, and ultimately followed the decision of the independent arbitrator.”
After the incident, Nazario was removed from the classroom and given an administrative position, the New York Daily News reports.
Nazario is working as a substitute teacher at different schools in the district, while maintaining her $105,142 yearly salary.