‘Don’t make me lose my job’: Teacher warned student before punching him over racial slur, arrest report says

The Las Vegas substitute teacher caught on video punching and knocking down a high school student last month warned the student “don’t make me lose my job” amid an argument during which the student used a racial slur against the teacher, after which the teacher got physical with the student, KLAS-TV said, citing an arrest report.

The student admitted to police that he used a racial slur against the teacher, the Las Vegas Review-Journal reported, adding that the teacher then charged at the student and punched him.

After schoolmates bring the student to his feet, the teacher — whose shirt is torn open — hollers, “You lost your motherf***ing mind, boy!” But the apparently dazed student hollers at the teacher what sounds like, “You’re goin’ to jail, [N-word]!” and actually laughs before a campus security monitor leads the student away.

Re’Kwon Smith, 27, told police he confronted the Valley High School student on April 24 for using the wrong door to leave a weight-lifting room, the station said, adding that an argument ensued during which Smith warned the student, “Don’t make me lose my job.” Multiple witnesses observed the student shouting insults at Smith, including a racial slur, KTNV-TV reported.

Documents said two other students tried to stop Smith and the student from physically fighting by holding them back, KLAS said, adding that Smith broke away and punched the student twice on his face and once on his head. Police said Smith lost his composure and began hitting the student with closed fists, KTNV added.

The Review-Journal, also citing the arrest report, said the student told the Clark County School District Police Department that Smith yelled at him as he was leaving weight training class. The paper, citing police, added that the student said he didn’t hear Smith because he was using ear pods at the time but soon heard Smith yell, “Don’t make me lose my job.” The student said he used a slur against Smith, and Smith charged at him and punched him, the Review-Journal added.

More from KLAS:

According to the report, the student’s body goes rigid, then falls backward, flat on his back in an uncontrolled manner, and hits his head … [the student] is laying on the floor, not moving and his body is still in a rigid position, which is consistent with being knocked unconscious. [sic]

After the student fell, the report said video of the incident showed Smith bend over the teen and strike him with an open palm.

A student witness told police the student was “shouting and insulting Re’Kwon with all kinds of insults” while the teacher was “trying to keep his cool,” KLAS said, adding that another student witness said he heard the kid call Smith a racial slur and taunt him.

Other videos tell more of the story

A longer raw video of the fight shows the smaller student continually going after and swinging at the larger teacher, even though the teacher easily knocks the student to the floor not once but twice. Other students intervene, and the teacher walks away amid a throng of onlookers.

Another raw clip offers a close-up of the teacher knocking the student to the floor for the final time, hovering over him, hitting him in the head, and yelling, “Are you crazy?” After schoolmates bring the student to his feet, the teacher — whose shirt is torn open — hollers, “You lost your motherf***ing mind, boy!” But the apparently dazed student hollers at the teacher what sounds like, “You’re goin’ to jail, [N-word]!” and actually laughs before a campus security monitor leads the student away.

What else?

Smith was charged with battery resulting in serious bodily harm, assault on a school pupil on school property/vehicle/activity, threatening to do bodily harm to a public school student, and interfering with a student from attending school, KLAS said in a previous story.

Smith was released without bail a day after his arrest. A judge dropped Smith’s $9,000 bail and released him because he has no criminal history and was not determined to be a flight risk, KLAS-TV reported, adding that Smith is due back in court May 27.

The district hired Smith in November and assigned him to the high school, the station said, adding that police said the district will remove Smith from the substitute pool and he’s no longer eligible to serve as a substitute in the district.

While KLAS said the student also was arrested, KNTV-TV said in a previous story that its sources indicated the student was recovering in a hospital.

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