So starts a video of a heated exchange between a student and teacher in a math class at Beach Channel High School in Rockaway Beach, Queens.
The video, captured on a cameraphone of another student, shows teacher David Pecoraro, 52, getting into an aggressive argument with a student who is talking back, which gets physical as the exchange escalates.
After the student pushes him away multiple times, we see Pecoraro yell at the student “You wanna go to jail now?” and a few seconds later “You’re gonna go to jail! You’re gonna go to jail!”
The student then utters some rude remarks that are hard to hear. The argument then escalates further, and the teacher rounds the student’s desk and spits on him.
You can hear the student spit back, as Pecoraro, astounded, shouts, “Are you crazy?”
The student then yells, “Don’t touch me, motherfucker!” as he stumbles to get up from his seat.
Since that video hit Youtube, Pecoraro has been relieved of his classroom duties and was “reassigned to an administrative office Thursday and the matter was referred to investigators,” Education Department spokeswoman Margie Feinberg told the NYDailyNews.
The NY Daily News also quotes a few students stating that Pecoraro was a repeat offender of crossing the line with students. ”He’s always getting in kids’ faces and spitting all over them…It’s disgusting,” stated Otina Rosario, 16, a Beach Channel High junior.
In regards to the video, Pecoraro argues that the clip did not tell the whole story. Indeed, Youtube clips-turned-scandals seldom do.
The teacher is on record as saying, ”That kid stuck a piece of gum that he had previously chewed and placed onto his desk and onto my rear end … into my mouth and I was spitting it out.” The video shows him very deliberately spitting gum out onto said student. Pecoraro, who has been working for the DOE since 1983, denied the students’ charges.
Judge for yourself who is at fault for the exchange; watch the full argument here.