APS responds after administrator caught on camera with student in chokehold

Published: Oct. 20, 2022 at 6:37 AM EDT
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ATLANTA, Ga. (Atlanta News First) -Parents and education advocates told Atlanta News First they are fed up with the ongoing violence in Atlanta Public Schools.

The latest frustrations come after yet another vicious fight was caught on camera and shared with Atlanta News First Wednesday that also involved the administrator.

Now Atlanta Public School District (APS) is responding to the video.

In the video from September, it shows multiple students from Benjamin E Mays High School pushing, punching and kicking each other for several seconds.

Eventually, Assistant Principal Travis Chapman is seen jumping in to try to break up the fight unfolding in the hallway.

After students were finally separated by Chapman and other administrators, a student in a gray hoodie is seen charging back through the crowd, shoving a female administrator and eventually throwing more punches at a student who was already in Chapman’s grip.

Chapman can then be seen tackling the student in the gray hoodie to the ground, placing him in a choke hold and using profanity.

“The student is supposed to be treated like a human because he does have human rights and it’s not supposed to be excessive. I believe adults should model the behavior they expect students to follow,” Education Advocate and Brother of two Benjamin E Mays High School students, Akiem Williams said.

Some parents and advocates who spoke to Atlanta News First said that APS needs to do more to address violence in schools to keep things like this from happening.

“I believe APS should use more restorative practices when breaking up a fight and have more people trained,” Williams said.

APS released the following statement to us in response to the video.

“The administrators shown in this video acted to diffuse a physical altercation between students that stemmed from a dispute in the community. The students involved have been disciplined in accordance with the Atlanta Board of Education and Atlanta Public Schools code of student conduct, and the matter is being reviewed by the district’s Office of Employee Relations. The safety and security of our students and employees will always be a top priority for Atlanta Public Schools. As such, the district promotes conflict-resolution strategies to students in all grade levels through our Social Emotional Learning (SEL) initiative and reminds parents and caregivers to routinely talk to their children about settling disagreements in a non-violent manner and the importance of making good decisions.”- Atlanta Public Schools