Rocky Mount police are currently investigating a physical incident that took place between a substitute teacher and a student at Rocky Mount High School on Monday morning.
According to Nash County Public Schools (NCPS), the altercation occurred during the transition period between the end of the first period and the start of the Connections Intervention period, when the teacher attempted to confiscate the student’s cell phone.
Video footage sent to WRAL News shows the two engaged in a heated argument over the phone before the situation escalated.
The student claimed that the rules did not apply to everyone else and demanded that their phone be returned, while the teacher, identified as Xaviera Steele, maintained that the rules applied to everyone.
The situation quickly turned physical as the student attempted to grab the phone from the teacher’s hand while she was making a phone call.
The teacher repeatedly told the student not to touch her, but the student persisted, leading to both parties swinging at each other, with the teacher ending up on top of the student.
As of Monday afternoon, no charges had been filed, and it is currently unclear what events led up to the altercation.
Nash County Public Schools policy states that if an employee is attacked by a student, they have the right to reasonably restrain the student and defend themselves until they are no longer under threat.
In regards to cell phone use, the policy code indicates that administrators may permit individual students to use wireless communication devices for personal reasons when there is a reasonable need for such communication.
The substitute teacher involved in the altercation, Bettie Atcherson, spoke with WRAL News about her approach to managing tense situations in the classroom.
Atcherson emphasized the importance of maintaining self-control as an adult and not allowing oneself to be pushed too far. She also emphasized the value of showing kindness and concern for students’ well-being, as this approach often leads to fewer problems in the classroom.
No injuries were reported, and both the police and school system are conducting an investigation into the matter.