FLAGLER COUNTY, Fla. – A Flagler County middle school teacher was charged with battery Wednesday after a video showed him forcefully throwing a student out of his classroom, according to the Sheriff’s Office.
Buddy Taylor Middle School teacher Jeffrey Paffumi, 47, physically removed a 14-year-old boy from the classroom on Tuesday, lifting him out of his chair and off his feet, a video captured by another student shows.
The Sheriff’s Office began investigating the incident after the boy’s parents learned of the incident and contacted the school.
The student told deputies he was playing music on his computer on Tuesday and Paffumi muted his computer. When the student unmuted the computer, Paffumi grabbed the computer holding it over the student’s head, according to the arrest report. In response, the student said he told the teacher “to put his (expletive) down, cracka.”
At that point, Paffumi and the student had another verbal exchange before the 243-pound teacher grabbed the teen, turned him around and put him in a “chokehold,” according to the report.
The video released by the Sheriff’s Office shows Paffumi tell the student, “Show me how tough you are, you want to call me a cracker" as he carries him out of the classroom and shoves him after he is outside the door.
The video released by the Sheriff’s Office does not show what led up to the student being physically removed from the classroom.
The student said he was not injured during the incident.
Paffumi is charged with simple battery.
Flagler County Superintendent James Tager said Paffumi was placed on leave pending the investigation.
“We are currently investigating the classroom incident and will be handling this in accordance with School Board and union policies and procedures regarding employee conduct,” Jason Wheeler, with Flagler County Schools said.
“The actions of this teacher are not consistent with how we expect our educators to act and behave and it will not be tolerated. We immediately removed Mr. Paffumi from the classroom following the incident and placed him on leave pending an investigation," Tager said in a statement. "I have stressed to my executive team the importance of handling this investigation with the utmost seriousness it deserves. I also understand a video shows only a portion of a particular incident, so this investigation will encompass the incident in totality and not just what was captured on a camera.”
Paffumi has a previous history with the Sheriff’s Office, records show. He was arrested in 2012 for criminal mischief and again in 2012, for battery, according to the Sheriff’s Office.
According to school officials, Paffumi has been employed with Flagler Schools since August 2005 and has held his current position at Buddy Taylor Middle School since August 2018.