A teacher from New London High School in New London, Connecticut, has become the subject of an intense online backlash and could possibly lose his job after making racially insensitive comments that included a detailed description of how to tie a noose.
Teacher Fred Driscoll gave the description on October 29 as part of his AP Government class.
While being recorded on video, Driscoll described how people tied nooses specifically to make them lethal:
“The rope has to be soaked in water for a certain period of time so it has a little bit of elasticity to it, and the knot has to be tied properly. The knot has to go between the right vertebrae, so when you drop, it snaps your neck and it kills you automatically.”
The day after Driscoll made the comments, a group of more than 20 parents and students met with school administrators to express their concerns with Driscoll.
New London Board of Education member Jason Catala commented to WTNH:
“It was complete surprise and shock and actually I was sick to my stomach when I heard.”
In blue Connecticut, we've got a State Senate candidate sending #antiSemitic campaign flyers against his Jewish opponent and a New London school teacher instructing students on how to make a noose. No place is safe from hate. Stop stoking the fire. #enough_trump #NoHate
— Matt Engelhardt (@MattEngelhardt) October 31, 2018
Catala was frank in saying that Driscoll’s level of detail was inappropriate in a school setting, and that he had concerns similar incidents had gone unreported throughout the year.
He believes firing Driscoll would be the best course of action:
“You don’t give them a roadmap on how to kill yourself. Who goes into that kind of detail when describing something like this? It’s not appropriate. It’s not necessary, especially given the climate going on in the world right now.”
USA educational system back at it again.
— Stevey (@SteveyKadence) November 5, 2018
Driscoll has been placed on paid leave. The school has sent an email to parents saying his classes will be taken over by Erin Azamarskie, another teacher at the school, and a long-term substitute while Driscoll is being investigated.
Sickening and careless.
— TheThighGround* (@Thigh_Ground) November 6, 2018
— Terri (@Lovemypupper) November 6, 2018
There were some parents, like Christopher Alfie, who believe Driscoll did nothing wrong and that stories about his actions ignore the context:
“The context was cruel and unusual punishment. He was describing why they did it that way. Personally, my son wasn’t offended by this. This is a top-level college class.”
Driscoll faces possible punishment or termination, and only time will tell if that is to become the case.