A white high school teacher with a long history of misconduct in other school districts was recently filmed fighting a Black student at Moore High School in Louisville, Kentucky.
William Bennet, a science teacher, has since been reassigned while investigations continue after he was caught in a video pinning a Black student to the ground and grabbing a fistful of his hair. The incident happened Aug. 24, just two days after the school year began, the Daily Mail reported.
The minute-long video showed that Bennet, 58, fought with a black student while other kids tried to stop the fight. In the video, he appeared to be calling for security. “Ain’t no g****** security, n****, get the f*** of him!” one student yells in the video, which has been widely circulated and viewed on social media.
The student who was involved in the fight told the local news station that he hit Bennet first after the teacher said he “would just be another Black boy shot.”
In a deleted Facebook post, Bennet claimed that he was misunderstood in the footage that circulated. “That being said, the truth has yet to be revealed, and this will change the whole narrative,” Bennett said. “We have the complete school footage and the actual statements made.”
Records show that Bennet was previously reprimanded in Hardin County decades ago after he confessed to calling a noisy class “a bunch of monkeys”. He also kicked a trash can and singling out one student who cursed him after Bennet threatened him with detention.
In a letter dated September 15, 1999, Bennet recounted and said, “I came around to his desk, grabbed the front of the desk and moved it towards the front of the desk, at the same time telling (the unnamed student) to get out.”
“(Student) got out” and the desk fell over, he said in the letter.
Superintendent Lois Gray wrote Bennet a letter, saying: “You must remember that it is essential for you to remain the adult in charge. While I understand that you may have been angry, it is important that you don’t speak until you are over your anger.” He was then asked to watch a series of instructional tapes, but he said he found them “intellectually vacuous.”
“I do not qualify as an individual with emotional control problems,” Bennett responded in an essay.
In 2001, he was removed from a job at Elizabethtown Independent Schools, just 45 miles south of Louisville, after he was arrested for breaking into an apartment to check if his girlfriend at that time was cheating on him, according to Louisville Courier-Journal.
The case was sent up to the state standards board that formally rebuked him in September of 2001.
His personnel file at Elizabethtown also shows he was written up for making sexual jokes and calling students who didn’t laugh “Nazi humorists.”
With cases after cases, Bennet still ran for Elizabethtown City Council in 2018, according to News-Enterprise.
“My parents and grandparents instilled in me at an early age the importance of Christian charity, service to others, a good education, and that public service is a calling not a career,” he told the newspaper.
In another incident in Bullitt County, he was suspended without pay for five days after a sequence of inappropriate comments like, “I could just slap you,” “I love guns; I love the Second Amendment; take it away, I shoot you,” and, “feminists are modern-day Nazis.”
And in 2019, he was again reported to the standards board, which handles teacher certifications.
Bennet did not disclose all the disciplinary actions and cases against him when he applied to Jefferson County Public Schools.
The standards board dismissed the Bullitt case in December of last year after Bennett completed training. According to the Jefferson County district, it’s up to teachers to disclose such incidents.
A spokesman confirmed that Bennet has been reassigned to a non-teaching job, with pay, while the investigation regarding the Aug. 24 incident goes on.