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October 29, 2015

N.J. student's classroom attack in Paterson goes viral, months later

Blogger posts January video to spur debate on media consistency after South Carolina classroom attack

102915_Patersonattack Viral Newsman/YouTube

16-year-old student grabbed and threw teacher to the ground in January incident at John F. Kennedy High School in Paterson, New Jersey,

Days after video surfaced of a South Carolina police officer forcefully throwing a student to the ground from her desk, a conservative blogger has brought renewed attention to a little-known video of a New Jersey student attacking a teacher in a Paterson classroom earlier this year.

The video below was re-posted on Facebook Thursday by blogger Matt Walsh, who works with conservative media outlet the Liberty Alliance.

Walsh called attention to the fact that the video, originally reported by NJ Advance Media in January, did not receive the same degree of coverage as the South Carolina incident, which led to the firing of Richland County Sheriff's Deputy Ben Fields, who was also a school resource officer at Spring Valley High School.

Strangely, this video of a black student body slamming a 62 year old white teacher to the ground for taking his cell phone never went viral. There was no hand wringing over it. No attention paid to it. No outrage. No discussion of "white on black" violence. No conversation about the very real epidemic of students physically assaulting their teachers. Nobody calling this teenager a "monster" and a "bully" for committing felony assault against an innocent man. No hashtags. No mentions by the Black Lives Matter crew. No coverage on MSNBC or CNN or anywhere else. Just crickets.

According to, police said the incident at Paterson's John F. Kennedy High School stemmed from the teacher in the video confiscating the cell phone of the student who attacked him. The same issue initially led to the conflict in South Carolina, a classmate of the 16-year-old victim told CNN.

Walsh's followers on Facebook, who total around 360,000, shared the post in droves and fueled a new angle on the already heated debate about the South Carolina incident. One Facebook user, Samuel Lilly, criticized what he agreed was a media "bias" in failing to propagate the Paterson video.

Such an innocent kid who obviously was severely wronged by the teacher. Teacher must have deserved it..... Great to see this did not make it on the news but an edited video of a police officer restraining a student in South Carolina did. Nice little tidbit of bias in our "news."

On Twitter, others cautioned against leaping to conclusions about how or even if the two incidents are siginifcantly related beyond the issue of cell phones and school discipline.

The Facebook post, shared more than 9,000 times, has amassed nearly 2,000 comments as of Thursday night, reflecting multiple views on what has quickly become a divisive incident linked to issues in policing, race relations, education, and technology.