There are white teachers who have no business teaching Black students and then there are teachers who don’t belong anywhere near a classroom at all. One “educator” who was recently fired from a Louisville, Kentucky, high school appears to fit both descriptions.
Meet William Bennett.
According to Louisville Courier-Journal, Bennett was a teacher at Marion C. Moore High School up until December when he was finally terminated more than three months after being caught on video fighting a Black student back in August. Bennett can be seen in footage recorded by a bystander pinning the Black teen to the ground while other students attempted to pull him off. The video also shows Bennett forcefully grabbing the student’s hair and bending him over while the student swung blindly.
And if you’re already upset that it took several months for a violent teacher to catch a pink slip, you’ll be even more vexed once you read that this wasn’t the first incident that should have earned him a huge red flag.
But let’s start with Bennett’s latest infraction.
A 24-page termination letter stated that district investigators for Jefferson County Public Schools found Bennett used excessive force against and made disparaging comments toward 16-year-old Jamir Strane. Now, there are those who will always give a white authority figure the benefit of the doubt over Black youth and say that Jamir physically attacked the teacher first—and, in this case, they would be right about that assumption.
But Jamir apparently took a swing at Bennett after the teacher mocked the teenager with a cruel comment regarding a drive-by shooting Jamir survived in 2020. Investigators said Bennett “admitted to saying something to the child about being shot that provoked” Jamir, according to a Child Protective Services report included in documents related to the investigation.
Bennett reportedly told Jamir, “You’re just gonna be another Black boy shot,” which is a racist, insensitive and inappropriate remark for a teacher to make to a student under any circumstances. And Bennett wasn’t done there, according to investigators.
Jamir can be seen in the video walking away from the altercation when the camera stops recording, and investigators reported that Bennett followed him down the hall and continued to have a “verbal exchange” with him—even reportedly kicking the student. Before other teachers moved to de-escalate the situation, Bennett walked over, “crouched near the student’s face and told him something, further escalating him,” the report states.
Now let’s get into how in the hell Bennett wasn’t fired on the spot?
The Courier-Journal noted that “most of the interviews used in the investigation appear to be completed the same day as the altercation. But the larger investigation took months as Bennett had medical issues, prompting his representative from the teachers union to ask for the investigation to be delayed until he could “share his side.” (Sounds like Bennett came down with a case of white-man-knows-he-f*****-up-itis.)
In late October, Bennett was finally interviewed. But before it began, he reportedly showed the investigator photos of the non-white members of his family in an effort “to dispel any myths of being a racist as portrayed in the media.” (Sure, it’s all the media’s fault and him making a racist comment then going full “See, I have relatives who probably wash their legs” doesn’t make him look racist at all.)
Bennett was also sure to boast about his fighting skills, telling the investigator he is “proficient in self-defense tactics” and that he “could have made (the student’s) face into hamburger.” (TF is wrong with this man?)
Bennett was also asked about following Jamir after the altercation, to which he claimed he was going to the counselor’s office, not to follow Jamir. But security footage showed Bennett walking past the counselor’s office without going inside—which makes him an entire white lie.
The investigation determined that Bennett “failed to make any attempts to verbally de-escalate the increasingly volatile conversation between (himself) and (Jamir),” and that he violated Kentucky’s educator code of ethics when he failed to disclose previous educator certification cases brought against him and the fact that he had been terminated from a teaching job in the past.
Despite Bennett telling investigators that he never received a negative evaluation and “this situation was disheartening,” he faced disciplinary action in other districts, including another physical altercation with another student. He was also fired from Elizabethtown Independent after he was arrested in February 2001. He said the charges were dismissed and he had declined an invitation by Elizabethtown to return to the classroom, but no documents in the school’s personnel file indicate he was ever invited back.
So this “educator” is just out here lying and fighting students, basically. He should have been gone.