Teacher suspended for placing student in choke hold

Statesville High student Davion Roseboro and his mother.
Statesville High student Davion Roseboro and his mother. WBTV

A Statesville High School science teacher has been placed on administrative leave with pay after a student says he was put in a choke hold during an incident with another student earlier this week.

The Iredell-Statesville school district said Richard Holmes intervened and restrained a student. Officials are investigating to determine whether the teacher went too far.

Davion Roseboro, 15, said Holmes placed him in a choke hold to prevent him from fighting with another student. The student claims he almost passed out. Cell phone video captured the encounter.

“I couldn’t move my eyes or nothing,” Davion told WBTV, the Observer’s media partner. “Everything got ... slower until he let me go. (Then) my body started rebooting.”

The student claims he alerted the teacher he was having trouble.

The teacher eventually let the student go, but his parents claim the damage had already been done.

“He could have passed out,” Joyce Davidson, Davion’s mother, said. “And never woke up again.”

The parents admit their son isn’t perfect and may have been in the wrong, but they claim that’s no reason for his treatment.

“That still didn’t give that teacher a right to put his hands around my son’s neck, and choke him out like that,” Davidson said. “I don’t care what the situation is.”

The incident happened Tuesday. Davion’s father said he received a call from the superintendent Wednesday about the incident, and was pleased with the conversation. “He looked at the footage,” Israel Coleman said. “And there was no question that the teacher was definitely in the wrong.”

Coleman also tells WBTV the superintendent was not pleased with how the administration at Statesville High School handled the case. The father wanted police to investigate, but said the school didn’t call police. The parent claimed the school’s major focus during his conversation with administrators was on his son.

The parents are also concerned no security was present at the school that day. The School Resource Officer called in sick. The mother said she has worked in the school district before and that training showed her teachers should never have their hands around a student’s neck.

“You can’t do that,” Davidson said. “I think they need special training for these teachers.”

The Iredell-Statesville school district told WBTV that teachers are offered training on how to defuse an altercation between students. Officials say they should use common sense and experience.

As the investigation continues, Davion is now on medication for a sprained neck. He has also been suspended from school until Monday.

Parents want the teacher to pay for his actions next. “I want to see him punished,” Davidson said.

There’s no word on when the school district will be finished with its investigation.

WBTV is a media partner of The Charlotte Observer.