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Video appears to show Florida teacher forcibly throw student out of class

The teacher was arrested and school officials say the investigation "will encompass the incident in totality and not just what was captured on a camera.”
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A teacher was arrested Wednesday for allegedly forcibly throwing a student out of a classroom in Buddy Taylor Middle School in Palm Coast, Florida.

Jeffrey Paffumi, 47, picked the 14-year-old student up out of his chair, carried him across the classroom on Tuesday, pushed him through a doorway and shoved him down the hallway, the Flagler County Sheriff's Office said in a statement.

As Paffumi carried the student out of the classroom, he said: "Show me how tough you are, you want to call me a cracker," according to a charging affidavit.

Image: Jeffrey Paffumi.
Jeffrey Paffumi.Flagler County Sheriff's Office

Part of the incident was captured on cellphone video by another student.

The student told investigators he was playing music on his computer during Paffumi's first-period class when he asked the teacher for help, the charging affidavit states. He said Paffumi went to the student's desk and muted his computer. The student said they went back and forth, unmuting and muting the computer, before Paffumi grabbed the device.

The student then said: "Put my sh-- down cracka." The teacher responded: "I am not a cracka." The student said he responded: "You is a cracka" and that Paffumi then grabbed him, turned him around and put him in a chokehold.

When asked by investigators if his airway was restricted in any way during the incident, the student said "No." He stated that he could breathe during the entire episode. He also said that he was not injured during the incident and did not have any marks or bruises from the encounter, according to the charging affidavit.

The student told his parents about the incident on Tuesday night and they reported it to school administrators Wednesday morning.

Sheriff Rick Staly described the incident as "unfortunate."

"As a teacher you have to control your temper even when students test you," Staly said. "This is an unfortunate incident involving a teacher and a student. My daughter is a school teacher and I know from her how misbehaved some students can be, but as a teacher you must deal with it appropriately. Corporal punishment like the old days is not allowed today.”

Flagler Schools Superintendent James Tager said Paffumi's actions are not consistent with how educators are expected to act and behave and will not be tolerated. Tager said Paffumi was placed on leave pending the outcome of an investigation.

"I have stressed to my executive team the importance of handling this investigation with the utmost seriousness it deserves," Tager said. "I also understand a video shows only a portion of a particular incident, so this investigation will encompass the incident in totality and not just what was captured on a camera.”

The sheriff's office said Paffumi was arrested in 2012 for criminal mischief and charged with battery that same year for a physical disturbance.

Paffumi was released on his own recognizance Thursday morning, according to a sheriff's office spokeswoman.