Last Updated: December 16, 2023, 12:25 IST
Activists engage in civil disobedience in Hart Senate Office Building, part of the U.S. Capitol complex, to call for a permanent ceasefire in Gaza and redirection of military aid for Israel, in Washington, U.S. December 11. (Reuters)
Benjamin Reese, a teacher at Warner Robins Middle School, was taken into custody on Dec. 8 on charges of making terroristic threats and cruelty to children
A middle school teacher in Georgia was arrested after witnesses told a sheriff’s investigator he threatened to cut off the head of a student who objected to an Israeli flag in his classroom.
Benjamin Reese, a teacher at Warner Robins Middle School, was taken into custody on Dec. 8 on charges of making terroristic threats and cruelty to children, according to Houston County jail records. He was released on bond two days later.
A message to his school email address was not immediately returned. Calls to possible phone listings for Reese, 51, were also not immediately returned or went unanswered. Houston County District Attorney William Kendall said Reese had requested a public defender, but no attorney was listed for him.
The student told a sheriff’s investigator she went into Reese’s classroom on Dec. 7 after spotting the flag and told him she found it offensive because Israelis were killing Palestinians. According to the student, Reese said he was Jewish, got angry and accused her of being antisemitic.
Witnesses, including staff, said they heard Reese use expletives and yell that he should cut off the student’s head. In a statement, Houston County School District spokeswoman Jennifer Jones said Reese had not returned to the middle school since Dec. 7.
His bond conditions require him to stay away from the school and the student he is accused of threatening, Kendall said. The district attorney added that he plans to seek an indictment from a grand jury next month.