Alabama: Secret Service probed teacher geometry lesson

Alabama: Secret Service probed teacher geometry lesson

May 18th, 2010 by Associated Press in Local - Breaking News

BIRMINGHAM - A Jefferson County geometry teacher was investigated by the Secret Service after he used a hypothetical assassination of President Barack Obama as a way to teach geometric angles.

School officials said the Corner High School teacher apparently was instructing his students about parallel lines and angles and used the example of where to stand and aim to shoot the president.

Authorities were alerted, and Roy Sexton, special agent in charge of Birmingham's Secret Service office, said his agency spoke with the teacher.

"We did not find a credible threat," Sexton said.

He said the investigation was closed. No charges were filed.

Jefferson County school officials said Tuesday that Superintendent Phil Hammonds declined to release the teacher's name. They referred questions to the school system's attorney, Burgin Kent, who did not immediately return a call for comment.

Hammonds said earlier the teacher remains at work and there are no plans to fire him.

"We are going to have a long conversation with him about what's appropriate," Hammonds told The Birmingham News. "It was extremely poor judgment on his part, and a poor choice of words."

Joseph Brown, a senior in the geometry class, told the News that teacher "was talking about angles and said, 'If you're in this building, you would need to take this angle to shoot the president.'"