Written by: Ismael Barrios
WARNER ROBINS, GA - A middle school social studies teacher, Benjamin Reese, 51, was arrested on charges of making terroristic threats and cruelty to children, following an altercation with a student over the display of an Israeli flag in his classroom.
The incident, which occurred on December 7 at Warner Robins Middle School, has sent shockwaves through the community, coming amid heightened tensions due to the ongoing Israel-Hamas war. According to witness accounts, Reese, who claims Jewish heritage and familial ties to Israel, became involved in a heated exchange with a 13-year-old Muslim student who found the Israeli flag in his classroom offensive.
Reports indicate that the altercation escalated rapidly, with Reese allegedly yelling profanities and threats, including "I'll kick your a--! I should cut your motherf---ing head off!" These remarks were overheard by several witnesses in the hallway and surrounding classrooms. The teacher is also accused of threatening to drag the student into the parking lot and slit her throat.
Video footage obtained from the school reportedly shows Reese following the students, although it lacks audio. Reese initially denied having spoken to anyone during the incident but later claimed the student had made antisemitic comments. He invoked civil rights during questioning by authorities.
The Houston County School District, responding to the incident, emphasized its adherence to the Code of Ethics for Educators. They confirmed that Reese has not been on campus since the incident and was arrested the following day, subsequently released on bond.
This incident has drawn the attention of CAIR-Georgia, which expressed relief over Reese's arrest and urged the Board of Education to prevent his return to teaching, citing concerns for the safety of Muslim, Arab, and Palestinian students. The organization is working with the affected family to ensure community safety.
The incident comes at a time when reports indicate a significant increase in antisemitic incidents, with over 2,000 cases reported—a 337% increase since October 7. This surge in tensions reflects the broader conflict and its impact on communities worldwide.
The case against Reese is ongoing, and further details will be provided as they emerge.