N.J. Teacher Caught On Camera Bullying Student Apologizes, But Asks For Respect

Steven Roth Takes Responsibility, Yet Says He Was Threatened By His Accuser

MERCERVILLE, N.J. (CBSNewYork) — A teacher accused of bullying a student on tape told his side of the story on Monday as he tried to save his job.

And as CBS 2’s Christine Sloan reports, the teacher said he simply lost his temper.

The 15-year-old, who shot a video with a cell phone, told CBS 2 his teacher bullied him in his New Jersey classroom.

The following is an excerpt between the student and teacher Steven Roth:

Student: “Don’t call me special.”

Teacher: “What, oh my god, (expletive) … Dude, what are you here are for? What does the tile in front of that school say? Special education.”

“(He was) making me feel like I will never amount to anything,” the student said.

“I found it very hard to watch myself because that is not a normal action for myself,” Roth said.

On Monday, Roth took the stand in a hearing that will determine whether he’ll permanently lose his job.

“My conduct was very inappropriate. Things came out of my mouth the wrong way. I did not want them to come out like that,” he said.

Roth said his temper got the best of him with the student, who was referred to as ‘J.A.’ during the hearing.

“J.A. was being threatening towards me. He had his hands clinched and made some very threatening comments earlier,” Roth said.

Comments he said the student didn’t roll on.

“I don’t agree with what I did, but I am the teacher in that classroom and I do in some way need to be respected.”

The student’s family and attorney were also in court, but would not comment. However, the superintendent of the Bankbridge Regional School District did speak.

“I was professionally devastated by it,” the superintendent said.

“I am wrong for threatening him. I was wrong for using profanity. I am. I should never have done it. I should never have used it. And I will never use it again, obviously,” Roth added.

The decision as to whether Roth will be fired won’t come for at least a month. In the meantime, he is on leave with out pay.

Roth is scheduled to return to work on April 4.

Please offer your thoughts in the comments section below …

  • Jgjgjgjg

    U can’t teach these kids

  • SerfCityHereWeCome

    Look for…the union la-bel…

    Wouldn’t it save you journalists a mountain of work if you just did stories on publik skool teachers who DON’T molest, attack, beat up, etc., their students?

    • dave

      maybe what we should do is give the authority back to teachers in the classroom. kids today have no respect for authority let alone themselves. when a student threatens a teacher or even hits a teacher the teacher is powerless to do anything because the idiot kid will cry and the librools will automatically take the idiot kids side.

    • pappy

      People seem to forget that teachers can bully people too. I had a teacher bully me for 4 years of high school and nothign was ever done about it. But i graduated and proved to him i was the better man.

  • Vik

    And teachers wonder why we need a grading system and watch dogs!

    • Gia Marie

      One teacher out of how many millions in America, and you are going to make a generalization based on that! It’s ironic that we never hear about the effective, nurturing and inspiring things that our teachers do for their students. Why, because the media and the general public want to blame teachers for everything that is wrong with the education system–especially in New York. Parents, quit using teachers as scapegoats! Do your job at home; get your child to school, make sure they do their homework, participate in class and respect themselves and others.

      • pappy

        It not just one teacher in this country. There are more then a fair share in my local district.

  • Great Grama

    My grandson is in special ED gets bulled by the kids the bus driver every day of his life.some even suggest he take his own life. pitiful world we live in….

  • S.F

    There was another matter that took place in a Brooklyn School recently , the student
    was make to feel belittled. These teacher or aids should be removed from the schools every where.

    • Prof. Frink

      You failed your English class, didn’t you? Isn’t that special.

  • The Proof is in the Proofing

    “Comments he said the student didn’t roll on” Either this is referring to antiperspirant deodorant, or somebody didn’t proofread.

blog comments powered by Disqus
Charles Osgood Event

Listen Live