Video shows teacher body slam student onto table at Atlanta high school

ATLANTA — Channel 2 Action News has obtained video of a physical altercation between a student and a graduation coach at South Atlanta High School.

The incident happened on Oct. 3. The 17-year-old said it all began when he touched teacher Henry Coleman on the shoulder and said, “What's up?”

“I just felt my body, my whole body, just fly into the table with books on it. He came to the table, slung me off the table to the ground,” the teen said.

Channel 2 Action News is not naming the student, because he said other students have bullied him for getting the coach in trouble.

The student was initially charged for touching the teacher before the school pushed for the charges to be dropped.

"He just went crazy. I don't understand why," the teen's mother, Shekela Bryant, said. "To choke, to push him on the ground by his face. It's just too much, too much for a good morning tap."


Bryant said Coleman threw her son into a desk and began pummeling him.

Coleman now faces a simple battery charge.

"Oh, no way, no way. That was not a battery. That was a brutal attack," the teen's father, Jamil Koonce, said

No one answered when Channel 2's Tom Jones went by Coleman's home Thursday.

The teen's father said the video is disturbing.

"I was very angry and very shocked," Koonce said.

The school initially sought battery charges against the student after Coleman said the child punched him in the arm with a closed fist and he defended himself.

Then the school took a look at the video and saw it matched the child's version of what happened.

"He told the truth. Exactly what happened is what he said happened. I told you so," attorney Kimberly Bandoh said.

Now, the parents want Coleman to face stiffer punishment.

"That was aggravated assault, cruelty to children," Koonce said.

"It's crazy. I just can't get it. I don't understand why he would attack a child like that," Bryant said.

The student no longer attends South Atlanta High School.

The school system said it investigated, worked to get the charges dropped against the student and terminated Coleman.

Comments on this article