Champlin Park High School teacher headlocks Somali student [VIDEOS]

Categories: Education
champlinparkaltercation.jpg
Hall (right) says he was simply trying to break up a fight, but Somali activists and the student's mother believe he crossed a line.
Champlin Park High School industrial arts teacher Joe Hall is in hot water after video of him headlocking a Somali student on May 3 made its way onto YouTube.

SEE ALSO: South High brawl: Video captures student saying, "Somalis just be getting knocked out!"

The footage, visible below the jump, has prompted calls for Hall's termination from Somali activists and the student's mother, but the school district hasn't taken any disciplinary action thus far.

One video posted to YouTube by JPath96 appears to show the beginnings of a classroom fight between a white student and the Somali student. Hall quickly swoops in to break things up:



The second video shows Hall subduing and headlocking the Somali student while asking him, "Are you done?" Hall releases him, but the student cocks his fist as though he's going to punch Hall in the face. Hall then tackles him onto a desk and says, "I'm not letting you go" while the student filming the incident can be heard whimpering:



According to numerous reports, the 14-year-old Somali student shown in the videos was arrested and suspended following the incident.

In a Pioneer Press report, Anoka-Hennepin School District spokesperson Mary Olson acknowledged "teachers typically do not restrain students," but said that "if they do, it's only if it's absolutely necessary."

"In this situation, the teacher believed there was a significant risk of injury to himself and others in the classroom," Olson added.

But Lori Saroya, executive director of the Minnesota chapter of the Council on American-Islamic Relations, doesn't buy it.

"It seems like [Hall] was using excessive force on a small kid," Saroya is quoted as saying in the PiPress report. "It's not how you would expect a teacher to react to a fight, which is why we want the [federal education department] to look into what happened here."

Indeed, as the Star Tribune writes, "Outraged Somali community members have demanded an independent investigation" of the incident, but Olson said the school district doesn't regard the altercation as being racially motivated in any way.

The Strib reached Hall for comment last Friday. He said he was simply "breaking up the fight" to ensure "student safety and security."

As of last night, the school district was still considering whether to seek an outside investigation of the incident. In the meantime, Hall reportedly continues to teach at Champlin Park.

But the Somali student shown in the videos hasn't returned.

"My son is at home, thinking he's expelled," the student's mother told the Strib. "He's afraid to come to school."

-- Follow Aaron Rupar on Twitter at @atrupar. Got a tip? Drop him a line at arupar@citypages.com.


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89 comments
NibooSmik
NibooSmik

This is being argued after the kid was hitting another person and then threatened the teacher after "submitting"? Get real.

nomi
nomi

his race doesnt have anything to do with it.  a punk is a punk.  Dirtball!

cags777
cags777

Not a teacher nor a resident of this community.  But I am backing the teacher's actions in order to break up a fight and restore some order.  One question I have is what happened to the main antagonist? Was he suspended or treated the same way as the Somali student?

kennyX
kennyX

And it turns out that the 'Mali was expelled from another school due to his behavior and was transferred to CP. 

CinBlueland
CinBlueland topcommenter

To the "Progressive" posters. Comments about Somalis are not racist. People are talking about a culture. 

MN has imported a tribal gang, they don't see black or white etc, they see Americans. 

They don't want to adopt our/your culture.

Yes this is a generalization as I've known some great Somali people.. but they've adopted the U.S. culture those angry types who think Adid was some kind of hero are never going to adapt.

afrokeys
afrokeys

IF he wasnt somalian....IF he was white.... and IF he wasnt in a suburban mostly white high school.... and IF minnesota suburbs didnt have an incredibly racist history.... Then this altercation might not have even happened.   THANK GOD or ALLAH or whoever that someone is covering this.  Its news because there is racial tension in suburban schools, and ignoring it would be THE WORST thing to do.  And the restraint, imo, did look extreme. 

Stuttering John
Stuttering John

Someone mentioned the fact city pages covered this story and not that one. That's how it's relevant...

digitalprotocol
digitalprotocol topcommenter

to be a Somali activist, don't you gotta do something other than cashing govt checks?


the entire somali community is propped up by scamming social services

Emily Steece
Emily Steece

As someone who works in the public school sector I know the rules of restraining. While the student needed to be restrained a headlock was not necessary, restraining is not blocking ones airway. The teacher looks as though he outweighs the student he could have taken him to the ground and held him there. This could have been done a number of ways, like positioning himself behind the student (on the ground) and crossing his legs around his mid-section (like a pretzel) then wrapping his arms around his chest area. this immobilizes the limbs making it harder for the student to put up his fist. Easier said than done but as we can see lawsuits are a big threat.

Anna Gonzalez
Anna Gonzalez

How does that other story have any thing to do with this one? because theyre Somali? Theres bad and good people in the world nothing to do with race

password
password

As a teacher, I'd like to say the bigger issue is all around classroom management. Even if a fight broke out in my room, I've shown the students enough respect and built enough rapport that they wouldn't swing at me. The teacher clearly lacks classroom management skills, respect from his students, and uses archaic intimidation methods to run his classroom. So frustrating to see these older, likely tenured, teachers have job security when so many young teachers out there cannot get a job. Another reason tenure is BS, but I digress...

swmnguy
swmnguy topcommenter

I'd be curious to know what discipline the big white kid in the blue t-shirt got.  He clearly threw the punches in the fight with the Somali kid.  And I'd like to know about the previous fights in the same class, that the teacher was well aware of when he dove into this one to break it up.

My son is in 9th grade at South now, and he had a ringside seat to what was described as the "race riot" on Valentine's Day.  Media interest vanished when it (finally) came out that my son's initial account to me was correct; it was a fight between Oromo and Somali kids, whose clans have been fighting for decades.  When my son was at Sanford, he reported several fights a week in the first couple of years.  In his 8th grade year, I noticed after a few months he hadn't mentioned any fights.  I asked why.  "Most of the Somali boys graduated," was his matter-of-fact response.

My son tells me most of the fights he's seen in school, going back to High-5, have involved Somali boys.  Usually they are fighting American black kids, according to him.  It usually starts with the rowdy teasing and "your-mama" style wordplay, but the Somali kids don't share that culture and take offense.  The Somali kids that the American black kids are immoral, don't practice Islam, etc.  Then the fists fly.  My son has seen a lot of those fights.  He says the fighting rarely is between white kids and Somali kids.

Since the Somali advocates insist on an outside investigation, I'd like to see it myself.  I'm holding off on any criticism of the Shop teacher, though my wife (who works in the schools, is trained in restraint holds and has broken up fights) says he didn't handle it very well in technical terms; exposing himself and the other kids to unnecessary risks by not immediately clearing the room and by physically engaging kids who were still brawling.

MicheleBachmann
MicheleBachmann topcommenter

@CinBlueland Cin you and the rest of your conservative ilk are a bunch of racists.  You don't get to say bigoted, sexist, homophobic stuff all the time and then pretend you aren't racist against Somalian people.  If you want to get the benefit of the doubt you have to actually do something about all the racists in your party and on your side.  You are a full of shit loser who constantly "likes" keny's stupid bigotry.  You don't get the benefit of the doubt racist.  

CinBlueland
CinBlueland topcommenter

@afrokeys  So you think the little racist,  religious fanatic should have been allowed to act out?

For the record this is not a Race issue, but a culture issue.

rjwashington2000
rjwashington2000

@digitalprotocol , have you seen the high rise's near downtown, filthy, over run, and oh yes, they do line up at the local hand me out office's. I work at one and have at many, myyyy, thing's never change, even the men's birthday's are all 01/01 and then some random year. Seems strange but I have witnessed many thing's, and I guess it's easier to scam the government if all your look the same children have the same spelled name's. I heard that incest is a part of their culture, now, it did and has been heard from the horses mouth. Sigh's, PM of Australia, now that woman doesn't have any problem's telling people who come to her country exactly how it is and will stay. Mr. Obummer now, yaaaa, can someone please do this country a favor, a big favor, boot his bit.. ass and his fake family too. You speak the truth, finally, someone , well there are a few people here with some brain's, not the finger pointer's though, cry babies, waaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaa. LMAO

CinBlueland
CinBlueland topcommenter

@Emily Steece  Thank you Monday morning quarterback. Yes you've gone to the lectures and seminars. 

Tell us how well you do when a violent animal acts out in your classroom. 

When are you white guilt fanatics going to get it? These are tribal people, dropped into the middle of a secular society. 

You are less than human to them because you don't come from their tribe.

CinBlueland
CinBlueland topcommenter

@Anna Gonzalez  Again, It's not RACE it's culture!

TwinTown77
TwinTown77

@password You come off as very naive.  I dare you to jump in and try to play peace maker between certain kids.  You will find out quick just how much they respect you.



MicheleBachmann
MicheleBachmann topcommenter

@swmnguy Yeah, I doubt the teacher handled it the best but I don't think he was out of line.  As you get older you slow down and it would be touch wrestling some riled up teen.  I give teachers lots of leeway when it comes to breaking up fights.   He should have cleared the classroom but maybe he was worried about them starting fighting again.  I don't know.  Maybe he lost his temper.  We all have bad days, I wouldn't want the teacher fired unless he has a history of bad decisions and mistakes.   I went to a high school with lots of redneck on redneck violence.   Those kids could do some damage and I saw a teacher or two take a punch.  I was actually amazed how restrained they would be.   

 I doubt what the teacher did has much to do with race but I don't blame the Somalis for wanting an investigation.   Immigrants are often the victims of unfair and racist treatment so they need a community group looking out for them. 

digitalprotocol
digitalprotocol topcommenter

@MicheleBachmann what about me? i am far from conservative, and agree 100% with cinblueland

tribal gang v americans - its clear as day  

not sure how you of all people would be defending a violent and jaded group like the somalis. the shit is fucked and only getting worse as more cheat there way into our metro

password
password

@TwinTown77 @password - In my 10+ years of experience working with inner city alternative students, SPED kids, addicts, gang members, and just about every 'tough' student you can imagine, I have never felt threatened by my students. I have broken up countless fights. I am anything but naive. It's simple: I care about my students and they care about me.

swmnguy
swmnguy topcommenter

@MicheleBachmann I agree entirely.  I sure wouldn't have wanted to be in that teacher's shoes.  And the Somali community is not having the easiest time of it, either, which doesn't help.

Another thing that occurs to me is an unpopular notion these days, but adolescent boys fight.  They might use absolutely anything as a pretext, too.

I went to an upper-crust sort of high school (think Blake, but wealthier) as a scholarship kid.  We wore jackets and ties; the whole 9 yards.  And there was at least one minor fight a day, among the 350 kids grades 7-12; probably 60% boys.  At least once a month there was a full-out brawl that led to somebody getting bloody.  In the mid-70's, that was handled by whether or not the fight was more or less even.  If one kid was getting clobbered, the teachers broke it up.  Or if stuff was getting damaged.  Otherwise, they mostly waited for one kid to get the upper hand, or more often, for both kids to get sick of fighting, which usually only took a couple minutes.  Then both kids got grabbed and dragged off to cool down separately, then eventually both kids were forced to shake hands and state publicly for everyone to hear that it was over.  Touching a teacher would get you suspended or expelled, but as long as the fights stayed within certain bounds and the same kids weren't always the ones fighting, it was considered not to be that big a deal.

I'm not advocating that practice, but it makes more sense to me than involving the police and the legal system.

I wouldn't teach a roomful of adolescent boys for all the tea in China.  Boys from about 11 through adulthood should also be forced to run until they fall over, at least once a day.  If you don't take the piss out of 'em, well, you get a lot of what we see in the Metro section.

rjwashington2000
rjwashington2000

@kennyX@MicheleBachmann, honestly, who care's!!! Back to the topic here. The video in it's entirety hasn't been shown, so in all reality, what we see is what we get. I'm not a racist, but I do dislike a lot of ignorant, stupid, half witt's. Everybody has their flaw's, but seriously the whining coming from certain group's is an embarrassment to them. Nothing in this video suggests racist, racism or anything close to it. What normal people saw was 2 dumb kid's fighting, the one kid obviously being handed a good ole a.. whoopin, but kid's, they have some growing up to do. I suspect that the "Somali" kid was feeling a little booty hurt from getting smacked around, I would of!!! The teacher split up the with fight minimal aggression and handled it wonderfully. The "Somali" student not being able to control his emotion's very well, tried to strike, attack, headbutt, I'm not completely sure, but he had to find out the hard way, that certain thing's aren't allowed in classroom's or towards staff. Now, as for the "REAL RACIST SHIT", now that started when the little community member's and other worthless good for nothing thing's ( all they do is whine and bitch and moan and, SIR, WHY DON'T YOU AND ALL YOUR CRYBABY FRIEND'S HAVE A CUP OF SHUT THE FUCK UP, FOR REAL) when all we heard from every suburb and surrounding area's was waaaaaa, waaaaaaaaaaaaa, waaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaa! Kind of like a newborn, but much more annoying, GUARANFUCKINGTEED!!!! It takes a lot of strength, energy, and "can I be frank or bold here) a lot of real stupid moron's to be able to cry that fu.. loud. Man, I just thought it was a immature, not very well thought out fight between 2 kid's. Not a white and a "Somali: kid, just 2 kid's. The rules are there for a purpose, not to be bent all to shit by ANYONE of any culture, background, religion or any other damn stupid reason. I know, people from different background's usually were brought up different especially if you were born or raised in a barn, or some other uncivilized place. Now this is going to be a " immigrant specific comment or more" for all immigrant's or other many illegal's that are here. YOU, you, YOU, came here, no one asked you to come, no one invited you to come, you or your parent's or relative's, came here, HERE. Yes, it's probably hard to get use to, but bare in mind, you wouldn't appreciate foreigner's to come to your homeland and either, whine, demand, and bitch because thing's are different and not going your way. DON"T expect people here, which the last time I could actually see a group of American's, well, never mind, that's far to long ago. The last time I checked, this very beautiful envious country has become a runaway spot, a cabin in the wood's if you will, a place to lay your head. Now, people, immigrant's, every darn illegal, I foresee a bumpy ride, not to shabby considering the serpent, ummmmm, that thingy person, OH YA, the so called "President" he has an agenda and from the looks of it, he will do almost anything to make it happen. SO, if you or anyone of you fall in this category of people, think for one minute, that it will be easy, lmao, nuk, nuk, nuk (shaking my finger now). Racism has or is overrated, kind of need's to be banned, kind of like the ( Pledge of allegiance or Christmas concert's that kid's in this country use to do as a tradition. Racism, hater's, and immigrant's, you my fellow destroyer's of mankind, are not wanted here or anywhere in this sweet land. People say I'm such a people person and could mingle with just about anybody, BUT, when I hear that cryinnggggg, OMG, like a little baby, or better yet, whiny little tampon's, FULL tampon's, lol., when I hear that, I become quite upset.It's generally displeasing' to have to remind certain people their place. I mean I have and will do it many more time's, just because some people are cocky and need to learn how to shut the hole in their face!!! It's a never ending job, pretty simple, but then again, you have to literally show someone how it work's. I prefer hands on myself, but I enjoy letting people know what's up or what's not appreciated. I even enjoy letting people know that I don't give a flying fu.. I'm such a great person to know, be around, hang out with, even call sometimes, but when I hear BULLSHIT like what people are claiming from this incident, hahahahaha, it's game on, time to make someone a little smarter then what they were. The only time to cry or whimper about racism or targeting a minority, is when it's valid and legit. SO far, I must be in Labor and delivery, a prettier place I'm sure... So, awww, ya, have you ever seen someone cringe from hearing a person talk without being politically correct, LMAO, amusing, amazing, even breath taking, I had all my trophy's made with good ole American sarcasm baby, I can cash all my check's. Unfortunately, the people we're referring to here in regard's to the teacher, seem to always get an overdraft, lol! Teacher of the year, he has my vote... Go Mr. Hall, you have many, many people supporting you and you did do the right thing. Don't let these ummm, peasant's convince you of anything else. Signed - Ms. can I get some bacon around here, some juicy tender pork-loins, damn just get me some p... some,,,, OMG, PORK

Pleasant dream's and sleep well, I will!!!

MicheleBachmann
MicheleBachmann topcommenter

@CinBlueland @kennyX  People like my posts, everyone hates yours.   People hate a phony dickhead like you who "likes" racist comments one day and then cries crocodile tears the next when someone calls him a racist.  

CinBlueland
CinBlueland topcommenter

@kennyX @MicheleBachmann  MB, Getting a little tired of your "racist" comments. I'd like to ask the moderators of this board to review MB's comments. He/She is a hateful partisan who brings nothing to any debate / conversation except to call those who disagree with him/her a racist hater.

I don't normally ask for bans, but this has become tiresome.

kennyX
kennyX

@digitalprotocol MicheleBachmann is a low-information Liberal. When you present them with facts that hurt their position and realize that they have lost the argument, they resort to either calling you a Bush lover or a racist, or both. Then they run away.

digitalprotocol
digitalprotocol topcommenter

@afrokeys i thought we were talking about the somoli assimilation problems. 

my comments are sound and reflective of the general attittude towards this specific refugee group.

are they not violent and confused about their placew in america?

are they not scamming social services?

are they not respectful either?

do you pray to sum dum god?

what should we be focusing on? the teacher?

CinBlueland
CinBlueland topcommenter

@Onan @digitalprotocol @password  What are you talking about?Nobody is saying anything about "Blacks" but about people from a certain country. It's no worse than Irish saying English are a bunch of psychotic hooligans.


digitalprotocol
digitalprotocol topcommenter

@password oh are you refuting my claims? God is real?  you prob pray to some dumb god!

the somalis aren't a PROBLEM?

THey don't get massive checks from the fed gov?

are they not violent? 

are they not themselves extremely racist?


are you too open minded for your own good?>


keny1
keny1

@Onan How is what he said bigoted? He's just telling the truth.

MicheleBachmann
MicheleBachmann topcommenter

@password I don't doubt you have a good approach with your students but I think its unfair to judge this guy.  We have no idea about the kid's background or history.  From the look of it he has trouble controlling his anger.  I don't think the teacher handled it the best but I would hate to have to deal with some kid acting violent.  That kid looked out of control, I'm sure the older teacher did the best he could against a strong riled up youth.  

swmnguy
swmnguy topcommenter

@digitalprotocol  Nah, it was out of state.  A very weird situation I found myself in way too young.  It was very much a real school, and I'm not kidding about "wealthier than Breck."  I learned a lot.  Some of it relating to the coursework.

MicheleBachmann
MicheleBachmann topcommenter

@swmnguy Yeah, that's the best point out of all this stuff.  Boys fight.  Add in broken homes or parents working all the time like most immigrants or poor people do and you will get maybe slightly more trouble.  It wouldn't surprise me to find out both kids or one of the kids fighting is a trouble maker.   I feel bad for the teacher and the kids.  No fun being the center of a media sensation over a stupid fight.  Just sucks their are so many bigots that love commenting on a story like this and there are so many reporters that exploit it.  I'm not even saying that's what Rupar is doing but I wonder.  I just think its pathetic how many losers feel the need to comment racist stupidity on every story about brown people.  

digitalprotocol
digitalprotocol topcommenter

@swmnguy so you didnt go to breck - the wealthiest of schools by a mile

if you went to some school like Shattuck then i feel sorry for you

thats hardly a school

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