Seventh-grade Social Studies Teacher Faces Charges of Making Terroristic Threats and Cruelty to Children
In a shocking incident at Warner Robbins Middle School in Georgia, a 51-year-old seventh-grade social studies teacher, Benjamin Reese, has been arrested for allegedly threatening a Muslim student who expressed offense at an Israeli flag displayed in his classroom.
Reese was taken into custody on December 8 on charges of making terroristic threats and cruelty to children. According to jail records, he was released on bond two days later, but strict conditions prohibit him from approaching the school and the student involved in the incident.
The troubling confrontation unfolded when a girl approached Reese, expressing her discomfort with the Israeli flag due to her concerns about the conflict between Israelis and Palestinians. The incident report states that Reese, claiming to be Jewish with relatives in Israel, accused the student of being antisemitic and responded with aggressive threats.
Witnesses reported hearing Reese scream violent threats, including one chilling statement where he allegedly said he would “cut the girl’s head off.” Students also claimed to have heard him threaten to “slit her goddamn throat” and drag her outside to behead her.
A faculty member overheard Reese accusing the student of making an antisemitic comment and responded negatively, though not with the same level of aggression.
Upon investigation, Reese denied the allegations, insisting that he only called out the student for being antisemitic but did not make any racist comments. When questioned by a deputy, he claimed to have nothing further to add and invoked his civil rights.
Surveillance footage captured Reese shouting, though without audio, as he walked back to his classroom.
The Houston County School District, in a statement to WMAZ, emphasized the obligation of employees to follow the Code of Ethics for Educators. While specific personnel matters couldn’t be discussed, it was revealed that Reese has not been on the Warner Robins Middle School campus since December 7.
This incident adds to the ongoing global tensions surrounding the Middle East conflict, contributing to reported antisemitic and Islamophobic incidents. The arrest of Reese underscores the challenges educators face in navigating sensitive geopolitical topics in the classroom.