Suspended Chesterfield teacher’s comments stir passions among parents

CHESTERFIELD COUNTY, Va. (WTVR) – What did a teacher say to his students?

Parents are concerned that they’re only getting bits and pieces of the truth from students and say school administrators won’t elaborate on the alleged inappropriate comment made by the Matoaca Middle School teacher.

Nevertheless, a Matoaca Middle School mom defended the teacher, saying the incident was being blown out of proportion.

“He’s a really nice guy; he has a dry sense of humor,” she told us.  We videotaped her in silhouette, because she feared kids would harass her son if they knew she was supporting the suspended teacher.

“The guy jokes around a lot.  It’s being blown out of proportion,” she added.

Matoaca Middle school administrators say they suspended the teacher Tuesday following an allegation that inappropriate comments about school safety were made.

Parents with students in the teacher’s class say he made a threat about gun violence, but was it taken out of context?

“The teacher threatened to shoot a student,” said that mother who didn’t want to use her name.  “But from the beginning of the year the teacher has joked that when he’s not at school, he works for the CIA and when students ask what goes on at his meetings he says, “If I tell you, then I’ll have to kill you.’”

If that is indeed what was said, CBS 6 legal expert Todd Stone says it’s far from criminal.

“It has to be an imminent threat and reasonably incite fear,” Stone said.  “If it’s made jokingly, this is not something that can be prosecuted under criminal law.”

Chesterfield Police tell us no charges have been filed and the school division says nothing has changed from Tuesday: the investigation continues.

On Leiland Conway’s WRVA afternoon drive talk show Wednesday, the Matoaca mishap dominated the discussion.

His listeners called in asking why the media or the schools haven’t released the teacher’s name. But because the teacher hasn’t been charged with anything his name cannot be released.