Behavioral Specialist Grabs Teen By The Neck In Shocking Video

Instead of handling the unruly child in an appropriate fashion, this behavioral specialist decided to apply aggressive tactics to get him back into class.

Some jobs may be tougher than others, but nothing justifies physical violence in the workplace. When the incidents in question involve children, we should be all the more concerned with these cases going unreported and ask ourselves: Are those who are supposed to be watching over our kids putting them in danger on a regular basis?

Joseph Golden III, 50, is on his way to trial after being charged with physically assaulting a 13-year-old. Golden, who works as a behavioral specialist at the Woodland Hills Promise Alternative School in Rankin, Pennsylvania, was caught on tape lifting the boy by the neck, and then carrying him down the hallway, a CBS affiliate reports.

Woodland Hills School District's Superintendent Alan Johnson told Fox 8 that the district plans to fire Golden after having seen the footage.

“It was a terrible incident. We’re very upset about it,” he said. “We have begun the process to terminate the employee. He was removed immediately from the school.”

The incident took place on April 12, and it didn't prompt medical intervention, but the images were still shocking enough. After seeing the video, a district magistrate made the decision to send the case to trial.

After a Thursday court hearing over Golden's case, defense attorney Pat Thomassey stood by his client, saying that all he did “was grab [the 13-year-old] and take him down the hall. He didn’t choke him. He picked him up around the neck and shoulder. The kid didn’t go to the hospital, he didn’t go to the doctor, he told the principal he wasn’t hurt. This isn’t a simple assault. I don’t understand.”

Prior to the altercation, the kid had allegedly “left class two or three times,” Thomassey told reporters. By the time Golden physically intervened, the kid had already decided he was just going to do what he wanted, the attorney concluded.

“We have to have some discipline in school. It's why we have these officers, that's their job, to maintain order,” Thomassey finally said.

Golden was ordered to stand trial on simple assault charges and endangering the welfare of a child.

Regardless of the rationale behind this incident, and no matter how unruly the child had been prior to the event, we all must remember that showing aggression toward a child who's having difficulties in class isn't the best way to handle the situation. Much can go wrong, the child may be injured, and physical punishments are ineffective.

Perhaps, this incident will once again ignite the debate, helping parents, caregivers, and teachers have a better understanding of the long-term consequences these types of punishments have on children.

Banner/thumbnail credit: Reuters 

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