Education

'He's a kid': Teacher forgives student who assaulted him over cellphone in classroom video

Viral video shows a student assaulting a Texas teacher over a cellphone

A physics teacher in Dallas County is showing forgiveness to a student who assaulted him, pushing him in the face, in a viral cellphone shot video taken by a another student at Cedar Hill High School on Tuesday, May 8.
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A physics teacher in Dallas County is showing forgiveness to a student who assaulted him, pushing him in the face, in a viral cellphone shot video taken by a another student at Cedar Hill High School on Tuesday, May 8.

A teacher in Dallas County is showing forgiveness to a student who assaulted him by pushing him in the face during class, as shown in a video taken by another student at Cedar Hill High School on Tuesday.

The 22-second video, posted to Facebook by Chris Hunt, a parent of the student who recorded the incident, shows a student dressed in a black T-shirt and black do-rag confronting Cedar Hill High School physics teacher Bobby Soeange over a cellphone.

The student begins knocking papers off Soeange's desk, while the teacher sits back staring at the student. The student says, "This is my last time asking your stupid a--" before pushing Soeange in the face.

Soeange then calmly puts the cellphone on the desk as the student begins to walk back to his seat. The student snatches the phone off the desk and returns to his seat.

Cedar Hill Independent School District spokeswoman Jamie Brown said the school district was made aware of the incident on Tuesday and conducted an investigation in collaboration with the CHISD police.

"Disciplinary action has been taken against the student," Brown said. "The student apologized to the teacher, and fortunately this incident is not indicative of the entire school year."

Students in the classroom at the time can be heard in the video expressing disbelief. Hunt said he had a hard time believing it, too, when his daughter showed him the video.

"It was kind of sad. I felt for the teacher and for the kid," Hunt said. "Big ups to the teacher for the way he handled it. Also for him not having any ill will toward the kid."

Hunt runs the Dream Team Youth Development nonprofit organization in Dallas County. Since this week also happens to be National Teacher Appreciation Week, he decided to visit Soeange's class on Wednesday morning.

"We gave him a small monetary gift and a custom T-shirt that reads: Team Work Makes the Dream Work — Parents, Teachers, Students, in a triangle," Hunt said. "He was really happy about it."

During the visit, which also was captured on video, Soeange seemed upbeat and in good spirits.

"I hate that the video sort of got out in the world," he tells Hunt. "Because it shows one kid on what is actually a pretty bad day, even for that kid. I mean, he's really not a bad kid."

Hunt said he didn't get a chance to talk to the student in the video but hopes to connect with him in the future.

"You can't have any ill will at the kid. I mean, he's a kid," Hunt said. "We really need to get him, sit him down and give him some help."

Prescotte Stokes III: 817-390-7028, @PrescotteStokes
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