CEDAR HILL, Texas - A Cedar Hill High School teacher is being praised for keeping his cool when he was shoved by a student.
Video of the incident in class on Tuesday was posted by the father of another student and quickly went viral online.
Physics teacher Bobby Soehnge says the dispute was over a cell phone. But he says the student seen on video was a good kid who was just having a bad day and later apologized just minutes after it happened.
Soehnge has been a physics teacher for the past 5 years at Cedar Hill High School. He says the 22-second viral video showing a student in his class getting aggressive with him isn't the whole story.
The teacher says he took the student’s phone, who is not being identified, since he had it out during class.
“As I was walking back to my desk, he was like, ‘That's my phone. You got to give it back,’” Soehnge recalled. “And I said, ‘It's cool. I'll give it back to you at the end of class.” He didn't want it back at the end of class. He wanted it right now."
Video of the confrontation shows the student shoving papers and laying his hands on the teacher. Soehnge then gave the phone back, and the student left the classroom. But what the video doesn’t show is the student coming back.
"About 20-30 minutes later, he comes back and says, ‘Mr. Soehnge, my bad. That was over the line. I know it. I apologize,’” the teacher said.
Soehnge says the student in the video is a good kid who hasn't given him trouble all year.
The video has been shared thousands of times on Facebook. Since then, the teacher has received overwhelming support.
"I got feedback from parents saying, ‘We are sorry that happened.’ So that was nice,” Soehnge. “And students who came by were like he's a cool guy, but he crossed the line."
Chris Hunt's daughter was in the class when it happened. He says the video was recorded on her phone. And he is the one who posted it on Facebook. He visited Mr. Soehnge to thank him for what he describes as incredible restraint.
“His demeanor just changed the whole narrative for me,” Hunt said.
"I think I did what anybody would do any teacher who was faced with the situation where they've got a student that they've got a generally positive relationship with and they know that student is acting out in a way that is going to have unfortunate consequences for the student,” Soehnge said.
The district says it is not a criminal matter. Since it doesn't discuss student discipline, all a spokesperson would say is that the student was dealt with according to the guidelines of the student code of conduct.