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‘Does Your Dad Beat Your Mom?!’: Charlotte Teacher Suspended After Viral Video Shows Her Berating 11-Year-Old Black Student Who Says He Was Defending Himself

A viral video of a white North Carolina teacher berating an 11-year-old Black boy has sparked outrage.

The video shows the elementary school teacher cursing and dragging the boy in a classroom full of students, all while accusing his parents of domestic violence.

“Who the f—k do you think you are,” Kelly Russell is heard asking the boy.

The video, taken on Feb. 7, begins with Russell, an art teacher at Ashley Park Elementary in Charlotte, grabbing Kayden Franklin, 11, by his shirt and shaking him for a moment before physically forcing him into his seat.

She asked him who does he thinks he is after he’d allegedly hit a female student, an incident that is not shown on video. While the audio is partially unintelligible due to simultaneous screaming from other students, Russell is heard yelling at Franklin.

“Do you hear me?!” Russell said.

She then grabs his chair, with him in it, and drags it towards a desk.

“You’re over here, wandering around my classroom, [unintelligible] a girl trying to fight her,” Russell continued.

Then the teacher insinuates the boy’s home life involves domestic violence.

“Is that what your family does? [unintelligible] your family puts your hands on women? Does your dad beat your mom?!” Russell asked as Franklin looks her in the eyes.

Franklin then replies, saying, “She started it!”

Russell responds by saying, “No, she didn’t. She was standing next to me!”

As Franklin tries to speak, Russell yells at him again, “Shut your mouth!”

Russell asked Franklin his age, and he told her 11.

The video clip ends with Russell saying to Franklin, “You are a child!”

A screenshot from WSOC shows the Charlotte school where an 11-year-old was berated by his art teacher. (Photo: WSOC)

Franklin’s parents were upset when their son told them what happened at the school, which is 81 percent Black, according to U.S. News.

“I feel helpless as a mother. That my son came into the house and didn’t feel like he could talk to me,” Franklin’s mother, Cortney Pickett told WBTV.

Pickett wrote on her Facebook page, “This Kayden, my son at Ashley Park Elementary I’m so disappointed. Nothing could hold back my tears when I saw this.”

“He don’t even sound the same. He’s distant. He doesn’t have that excitement in his voice right now. You can tell he’s hurt by this,” Franklin’s father, Deon Franklin, said.

Franklin’s parents wonder what would have happened if not for the video recorded by another student who is heard saying, “If that was me, I swear to God.”

“If that video didn’t come out, it was her word against his. Because what she said did not match the story of what my son said,” Pickett said.

“Your job is to instruct and teach; if they’re out of line, get the principal,” Franklin’s father Deon Franklin, said to WSOC.

The Charlotte-Mecklenburg School district confirmed to news media it has suspended Russell following the incident.

“We have been made aware of this incident, and the employee is currently suspended with pay. Charlotte-Mecklenburg Schools remains committed to ensuring a safe and caring environment for each and every student,” a CMS spokesperson said in a statement.

“You don’t need to be in the school system because you don’t know how to keep your cool,” Pickett said of Russell.

Social media users expressed their concern with the teacher’s handling of the dispute between the students.

“Hope she was fired. I don’t care what your job is you do not swear at children or make nasty remarks about their families. Disgusting behavior for a teacher,” Lori Jaimes commented.

Franklin’s parents also had a message about what happened that day.

“I don’t know whatever movies she’s watching, whatever music she listens to, whatever gives her this attitude that Black men, we don’t care about our kids, that’s false,” Deon Franklin said.

“I work hard to make sure my son feels safe, and the one place I thought I could keep him in to be safe, they let me down. I’m hurt,” Pickett added.

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