Teacher Removed After Bizarre Incident At McGavock High
NASHVILLE, Tenn. – A teacher was removed from McGavock High School after a bizarre incident in a classroom that forced the principal to call parents and explain what happened.
The incident happened in Donald Wood’s 11th grade algebra class Friday. Video shot by a student in class showed Wood throwing two tables, a garbage can and a chair.
The video starts with Wood telling a group of laughing students to “shut up.”
After standing quietly for about 20 seconds while students laughed, Wood waved his arms and said, “If you can be absolutely quiet… if you can shut your mouth… you can shut your mouth and you can listen in absolute silence… do you know why? Cause I have the absolute…”
“Power!” shouted one of the students.
“I’ve got it, and I know it,” said Wood. “And guess who else knows it?”
Wood shouted something else that could not be understood before knocking a table to the ground. He then walked to the other side of the classroom and knocked over another table.
He shouted, “Do you know who started the fire? Do you know who started the fire in this school?”
A student said something inaudible, and Wood continued, “No… me!”
Wood picked up a metal trash can and slammed it to the ground. Students then began to leave the classroom. Witnesses said Wood then picked up a chair and threw it at the window - breaking the glass.
“He picked a chair and threw it on the ground – not at a student, but towards a student, but it was close – and that’s when I got up and started walking away,” said junior Joshua Jenkins. “Once everybody started running out he picked up a chair and threw it out the window and it shattered.”
Several students could be heard laughing at the beginning of the 2 minute video, but then they realized it was escalating into a serious situation.
The disturbance was so loud students in nearby classrooms could hear the commotion. When the school resource officers got to the room, they handcuffed Wood and removed him from the school.
Witnesses said Wood shouted profanities and resource officers and students in the hall as he was escorted out. School officials said Wood suffered from an apparent nervous breakdown.
“[He was] very agitated, very scattered and he didn’t make any sense,” said Principal Robbin Wall.
Officials said Wood was removed from the school on a stretcher and transported by ambulance to a nearby hospital. Wall said he had never experienced anything like it in his 32 years in education.
“A chair had been thrown through the window, broke the glass and everything – and being honest, we are very fortunate that none of our students were injured or hurt,” said Wall.
Wall sent out an automated message to parents to inform that about the bizarre situation that unfolded at the school. Part of the phone call said, “We had an incident in the school this morning, a teacher had a nervous breakdown in class.”
Some parents took their students out of class for the day. Shannon Jenkins said her son was too shook up to go back to school.
“The reason I wanted to pick him up one just being anxious he is not going to learn anything else for the rest of the day,” she said.
Joshua Jenkins said it would be tough to return to his algebra class on Monday.
“I expect to learn and get my education, [but] it was scary. It was definitely scary,” he said.
Metro Schools officials said Wood was placed on administrative leave pending further investigation.
Wood has taught in Nashville schools for 17 years.