High School Teacher Slams Student Into Wall in Shocking Video

A New York gym teacher has been arrested after allegedly slamming a 14-year-old student into a wall and hurling him to the ground. Teacher Colin McNally, 58, was caught on camera in shocking footage obtained by WABC-TV.

According to the criminal complaint obtained by Newsweek, the incident occurred on February 16 at Cardozo High School in Bayside, Queens. The unnamed student had just finished playing basketball and was walking out of the gym when McNally took his ball. The boy continued to ask for his basketball back as the teacher walked toward the dean's office. It was then that McNally suddenly yanked the boy by his jacket, violently slammed him against the wall and threw him to the floor.

McNally is white and the 14-year-old student is Black. The teacher was arrested at the scene and charged with second-degree harassment and endangering the welfare of a child. He has since been released. McNally taught P.E. and coached Varsity Boys Tennis at the school, though the NYC Department of Education has not confirmed if he is still employed there.

The National Center for Education Statistics claimed the total rate of student victimization in U.S. schools (including violations perpetrated by teachers as well as other students) declined more than 80 percent between 1992 and 2019, when 30 victimizations per 1,000 students were recorded. However, corporal punishment in schools is still legal in 19 states—though New York is not one of them—and Black and disabled children are disproportionately affected.

According to the complaint, McNally admitted to the assault, stating: "I pushed a kid against the wall and then I pushed him to the ground."

The student did not report injuries, but said in the complaint that the event caused him "annoyance and alarm."

NYC Department of Education spokesman Nathaniel Styer said in a statement: "These are incredibly disturbing allegations, and Mr. McNally was immediately removed from the classroom away from students, pending the outcome of the investigation."

High School Teacher Slams Student Into Wall
A New York gym teacher has been arrested after allegedly slamming a 14-year-old student into a wall and hurling him to the ground. Colin McNally is white and the 14-year-old student is Black. Konstantin Karpov/iStock / Getty Images Plus

Students at Cardozo High School were troubled by the allegations. Student Jonathan Pasquariello theorized to WABC-TV: "After the whistle blew for after gym, I guess the coach didn't like that, 'cause I know he has a short temper, McNally." Another anonymous student was surprised by the teacher's actions, saying: "I never got the wrong or bad impression from him, so when I heard that, it's actually very shocking that he would actually do something like that."

In October, Florida teacher Caroline Lee was charged with child abuse after allegedly striking a student in the face several times. The attack came after the student posted a comment on Instagram questioning if Lee had used the N-word in class. Lee responded on Instagram that she had used the word in the context of the book Of Mice and Men, according to WJXT-TV. She subsequently called the student into her classroom for a private meeting, where the alleged assault took place.