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Teen says teacher choked him in California classroom video. ‘He refused to let me go’

A 15-year-old says his teacher put him in a chokehold in a classroom altercation partly caught on video, KABC reports.

“As soon as he put me in a chokehold, I immediately tapped out,” said Andrew Boyd, a student at Lynwood High School near Los Angeles, KTLA reported. “As I was tapping out, he was not letting me go, he refused to let me go.”

Lynwood Unified School District says in a statement that the 53-year-old teacher has been placed on leave pending the results of an investigation. The teacher’s name has not been released.

The Los Angeles County Sheriff’s Department says it also has opened an investigation into the incident, which took place about 9 a.m. Oct. 10.

Boyd says the altercation began when another student, about whom he has previously complained to school officials, started an argument with him, KABC reports.

That’s when the district says the teacher “intervened and physically restrained one of the students,” KTLA reported.

A video shot by another student in the classroom shows the teacher with his arms around Boyd from behind. An attorney for Boyd’s family posted the video on Facebook, where it has been viewed nearly 4,000 times as of Thursday morning.

The teacher eventually releases Boyd, who backs away from him, the video shows.

“I want to know that my kids are safe when I take them to and from school,” said Wlette Jones, Boyd’s mother, who said the school never notified her of the incident, KABC reported. “When I put you in a gate, that’s your job to protect them. They weren’t protected and he wasn’t given what’s owed to him.”

The district’s statement says administrators immediately removed the teacher from the classroom and contacted authorities.

“The Lynwood Unified School District does not condone physical violence in any form and takes this matter very seriously,” read the district’s statement.

The sheriff’s office says it is reviewing the cellphone video of the incident, and asked that anyone else with video or information about the incident call 562-946-7919.

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Don Sweeney has been a newspaper reporter and editor in California for more than 25 years. He has been a real-time reporter based at The Sacramento Bee since 2016.
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