Local/State

Classroom Obama argument goes viral, teacher suspended

Tuesday, May 22, 2012

A Rowan County high school teacher has been suspended following the release of a YouTube video in which she is heard yelling at a student in class and telling him it's wrong to criticize President Barack Obama.

The Salisbury Post reported that Tonya Dixon-Neely's class at North Rowan High School was discussing Obama and Republican candidate Mitt Romney when the conversation turned to accusations that Romney bullied someone as a teenager.

One of the students had asked whether President Obama had ever bullied a fellow classmate.

Obama admitted to pushing a classmate while being taunted by other students in his autobiography "Dreams from My Father."

The argument ensued while one student's cell phone videotaped the heated discussion.

In the video, the teacher could be heard shouting at a student that criticizing President Obama could get someone arrested.

The recorded time of the video is about nine minutes long and no faces were shown.

The teacher was recorded screaming, "You will not disrespect the president of the United States in this classroom."

The student retorted "I'll say what I want."

The student said Obama was "just a man," "not a God."

The video went viral last Friday when it was viewed more than 1,000 times, and by Monday evening, the video had close to 450,000 views on YouTube

The school system said the incident can serve as a learning experience.

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(Copyright ©2014 ABC11-WTVD-TV/DT. All Rights Reserved - The Associated Press contributed to this report.)

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