What did this middle schooler see his teacher doing that led to a tongue lashing?

What did this middle schooler see his teacher doing that led to a tongue lashing?
Jeffrey Province (Image: Family photo)

It’s hard to say which is worse about this latest “zero tolerance” charade to play out in one of our nation’s schools. Is it what a 13-year-old found his teacher doing when he walked into his math class? Or is it the unconscionable tirade the child was subjected to after entering the classroom?

My vote is for both.

WOWK, the CBS affiliate for Charleston-Huntington, W.Va., reports that Jeffrey Province, a sixth grader at East Bank Middle School, walked in as his teacher, Thomas Yohn, was looking at pornography on his computer. The child turned tail and headed to the principal’s office.

Later in the day, a video taken by a student shows Yohn barging into Jeffrey’s English class and berating him in front of his classmates. Here’s the video, with captions.

Province’s mother, Carmelene Short, says she was never contacted by the school or the board of education regarding the incident, which she learned about instead on social media. Short took the initiative of reaching out to the school district, which told her that Yohn had been suspended pending an internal investigation.

Says her son, who stayed home the day after the incident:

I was afraid that he would do something to hurt me because I told on him and I might make him lose his job. So that’s pretty much the reason why I’m scared.

In the video, Yohn can be heard claiming that the boy “tried to blackmail me, he said, ‘oh Mr. Yohn’ he said, ‘I’m going to get an A this quarter or I’m going to tell that you’re watching inappropriate things on TV an I saw it.'”

Carmelene Short is quoted as saying that she feels let down by the district, noting:

He is supposed to be safe at school and this should have never happened, at all. I don’t talk to my kid like that and he [Yohn] is not going to talk to my kid like that.

Ben Bowles

Ben Bowles

Ben Bowles is a freelance writer.


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