Education

Students at Marion C. Moore School walked out of class in protest twice this week after videos surfaced on social media showing a Moore school teacher fighting with a student. 

According to WDRB and Wave 3 News, students have identified the teacher as William Bennett, who teaches high school chemistry. They also say Bennett provoked the student before the fight with racist comments.

Two videos show Bennett, a white man, pinning a Black teenage boy, Jamir Strane, against the floor with his body in a hallway. Students intervene to pull the teacher off, as Strane, pinned, throws punches from underneath the teacher at his head. 

“Get the f— off him!” an intervening student yells, trying to pull Bennett off.

“Could you get security?” Bennett asks another student.

“Ain’t no goddamn security!” the first intervening student says. “Get the f— off!”

Students and one staff member pull Bennett off and try to separate the two, but Bennett grabs Strane by the hair and appears to throw a knee toward the boy’s face. Bennett grips the teenager’s hair for almost 30 seconds while the staff member and students struggle to separate them.

Bennett (far right) grabbed Strane by the hair and held on for nearly 30 seconds. Staff and students tried to separate them.screen grab

Bennett (far right) grabbed Strane by the hair and held on for nearly 30 seconds. Staff and students tried to separate them.

Jefferson County Public Schools spokesperson Renee Murphy said she could not confirm the identity of the teacher but provided a statement.

“There was a physical altercation at Marion C. Moore School between a student and a teacher,” Murphy wrote. “A full review of the matter is currently underway and during this time the teacher will not be in the classroom.”

Bennett did not reply to request for comment.

Bennett, who lives in Elizabethtown, has served on the Elizabethtown City Council.

He has made multiple comments on Facebook disparaging Black Lives Matter and people from Louisville and other urban centers.

“Dear Criminals from Chicago and Louisville,” one comment reads. “The good people of Elizabethtown and Hardin County will not put up with your nonsense … I hear that Antifa, BLM, and several other left wing Marxist organizations are hiring.”

Students and activists have held protests at the school Monday and Tuesday, calling for “justice” for their classmate, who they say was suspended and faces criminal charges. 

Jamir Strane’s mother, Erica Strane, said she is not speaking with media again until the family has an attorney.

Jess Clark is WFPL's Education and Learning Reporter.