Lenoir County teacher being charged after video shows her hitting student multiple times

LENOIR COUNTY, N.C. (WITN) – A high school teacher is being charged after video surfaced showing her hitting students with what looks like an extension cord.

The assault happened Wednesday in a classroom at South Lenoir High School.

In the video, Patricia Graham is seen striking one student at least twice with what appears to be a wrapped-up extension cord. While being hit, the student is holding out his left arm in a defensive posture. The teacher then tells the student “now sit down”.

Eli Day, South Lenoir student said, “And I heard one of them was sleeping and that’s why they got hit with the extension chord because they were sleeping.”

The school system said it has reviewed the circumstances of what happened and “law enforcement has been briefed and the school has communicated with the parents of the students involved.”

The 71-year-old Graham will be charged with simple assault. Deputies said two students, ages 16 and 17, were struck by the teacher.

“This video deeply disturbed me,” said Sheriff Jackie Rogers. “I am proud of our sheriff’s office personnel who immediately responded to this and I commend them for their investigation that resulted in this arrest.”

South Lenoir parent Shannon Taylor saw the video and said,“I would’ve whooped her butt. I would’ve whooped her tail over my younging. I would’ve gone to jail for assault. Any parent would.”

Day said, “Half of the school is saying she should be fired but the other half is saying she shouldn’t be fired. The other half is saying well—the kid deserved it.”

Lenoir County Schools said Graham resigned. She was a teacher from 1976 to 2013 when she retired and then came back as a part-time teacher in 2014, according to the school system.

The sheriff’s office said they are in the process of formally arresting her this afternoon.