Rowan-Salisbury Schools officials suspended a North Rowan High School teacher Monday while investigating an incident caught on camera where the teacher told a student he could be arrested for speaking ill of President Barack Obama.
In a nearly 10-minute YouTube video shot by a student in the classroom, Tanya Dixon-Neely, a social studies teacher, told students criticism of the president could lead to jail time.
“Do you realize that people were arrested for saying things bad about Bush?” she said of former President Bush. “Do you realize you are not supposed to slander the president?”
Dixon-Neely has been suspended with pay, according to Rowan-Salisbury School System Spokeswoman Rita Foil.
On Friday, Foil said the incident can be a learning experience.
“The Rowan-Salisbury School System expects all students and employees to be respectful in the school environment and for all teachers to maintain their professionalism in the classroom. This incident should serve as an education for all teachers to stop and reflect on their interaction with students.”
A Salisbury Post reporter went to Dixon-Neely’s home for comment this morning, but no one answered the door. Calls to her number have gone unanswered and there is no answering machine.
The video went viral over the weekend and viewership jumped from about 1,000 views to more than 168,000 Monday morning.