An Eagle Mountain charter school gym teacher says he is sorry and is devastated after a scuffle involving a student on Thursday.
Anthony Robbie Chidester, 40, of Cedar Hills, is accused of child abuse and was fired after Utah County Sheriff’s Sgt. Spencer Cannon says Chidester put his hand around the student’s neck and shoulders, pushing him to the ground.
Deputies were then called and the teacher was issued a summons on suspicion of child abuse. He was abruptly fired from Rockwell Charter High School as a result.
Chidester issued a statement Thursday night, saying he is devastated and is sorry for the student involved. He told KSL NewsRadio that he and the student had had some issues, but he had thought they were in a better place. He says he feels gutted from the experience.
His statement alluded to the many physical and verbal threats he endures as a teacher during the school year, but says in no way is that an excuse for what transpired on school property Thursday. He takes responsibility for letting an already tense situation get out of control.
“I allowed an incident of disrespect, bullying, teasing and insubordination from a student to escalate. As an educator I have been bullied, I have been threatened with physical harm, told to ‘F’ off on a daily basis, teased that I am powerless, told that I am worthless, had balls and weights thrown at me. Students have touched my legs and pulled the hair out of my calves and filmed me while I taught and mocked me,” Chidester said in his statement.
Chidester was interviewed by deputies at his home after being asked to leave the school, located at 3435 E. Stonebridge Lane. Investigators say he gave them a written account of what happened, admitting to his part in the scuffle.
Authorities say the eighth-grade student involved is upset, but not harmed and is fine.
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