Londonderry Middle School Teacher Crosses the Line with Students

Even the most dedicated teachers have challenges during classroom teaching assignments. And occasionally teachers are the problem, when students feel teachers lack understanding for their moods or situations. And sometimes a student or a teacher snaps in a situation that creates a horrible incident.  
It appears Londonderry Middle School teacher, Steven Dwyer got himself in hot water during an English class as a result of an incident with one of his students.  
The student and witnesses came forward with allegations of an alleged threat by the teacher to their counselor. That alleged threat was then voiced to the school Principal, Richard Zacchilli  who had a discussion with the teacher, with the incident then being escalated to the Londonderry Police.
Dwyer has since been charged with criminal threatening, which is a Class A misdemeanor and he was released on personal recognizance.  
In an arrest Warrant, it was alleged the incident started when Dwyer yelled at the student for not being attentive in his class saying, “I don’t believe in guns or have a gun, but if I did, I would shoot you — because you have your head down and you’re not paying attention.”
The comments allegedly arose during a class discussion about the use of idioms like “don’t shoot the messenger” so the discussion got out of hand in context to the expression being discussed.
This is not likely a suitable manner for a teacher to get a student’s attention, as fears of school violence are running high across the student population. 2018 was a record year for violent school incidents. Over 94 incidents have occurred so far this year versus a previous high set in 2006 according to U.S. Naval Postgraduate School.
According to the Police, Principal Zacchilli met with Dwyer and his union representative and during the meeting Dwyer expressed frustration that students don’t take matters seriously and “everything is a joke to them,”  
During this meeting with Dwyer, the principal asked Dwyer if he said, “If I had a gun, I would shoot you?” and Dwyer responded, “Yes.” This resulted in the Principal suspended Mr. Dwyer.
Police reported that the teacher, Steven Dwyer, 51, of Manchester, reported on his own to Londonderry Police, who made out an arrest warrant on Nov. 27, based on allegations that had come forward by a student and witnesses about the incident. 
Londonderry Police Detective, Timothy Moran stated in the warrant that Dwyer had been previously investigated for making veiled threats about gun violence to students on Feb. 14.
A police document of that older incident reported a student said that Dwyer became upset during a video games discussion that students don’t take anything seriously and then asked them what they would do in the event of a school shooting.
One student witness told police Dwyer had said, “It’ll take something tragic, you guys don’t take anything serious. I’m wishing for a school shooting in New Hampshire.”
“I felt like he was going to shoot up the school,” that student told police. 
Police reported Dwyer denying saying he wished for a school shooting, but did say he thought students would only take violence seriously if a school shooting did happen.
Dwyer admitted to police that the comments were probably “a little over the top” but that “some of the kids in the class needed to hear it to stop the snickering.
Superintendent Scott Laliberte said that the teacher had been placed on administrative leave in early November pending police and school district investigations.
“These allegations are currently being investigated. Meanwhile, it is important to remember that all persons must be presumed innocent until they are proven guilty. As always, the safety, security and well-being of our students is our top priority,” Laliberte said.
Dwyer is scheduled for a Derry District Court hearing on Thursady, Dec. 13.  

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