Georgia Middle School Teacher Arrested for Allegedly Threatening Muslim Student Over Israeli Flag Dispute
Perry, Georgia – A 51-year-old middle school teacher, Benjamin Reese, is facing criminal charges after allegedly making threats to behead a 13-year-old Muslim student who expressed offense at an Israeli flag displayed in his classroom. Reese, a seventh-grade teacher at Warner Robins Middle School, was arrested on December 8 and charged with felony terroristic threats and misdemeanor cruelty to children, as reported by the Houston County Sheriff’s Office.
Reese, who posted a $7,500 bond, was released from jail on Monday. It remains unclear whether he has obtained legal representation. If convicted on both charges, Reese could face prison time.
The incident occurred on December 7, with nearly two dozen witnesses present, according to a sheriff’s office arrest report obtained by CNN. Witnesses reportedly heard Reese shouting profane threats in a school hallway, including threats to decapitate the student who found the Israeli flag offensive.
A deputy’s report detailed Reese’s alleged remarks, which included calling someone “my antisemitic friend” and threatening to drag a student by the back of his car and behead her for disrespecting his Jewish flag.
The report stated that Reese informed the school principal that a student had entered his classroom, expressing offense at the Israeli flag. Reese claimed to have told the student she was “being antisemitic” but denied making any racist comments.
The Houston County School District, where Reese is employed, released a statement emphasizing its commitment to investigating violations of the educator’s code of ethics. The district did not disclose Reese’s tenure but clarified that he has not been on the Warner Robins Middle School campus since December 7, 2023.
The district’s statement underscored its dedication to the safety and well-being of students and staff, highlighting that the incident is under investigation and that the district cannot discuss specific personnel matters at this time.
Benjamin Reese, who teaches 7th grade at Warner Robins Middle School, was arrested on charges of felony terroristic threats and cruelty to children. https://t.co/cYrSiQWiu4
— Akron Beacon Journal (@beaconjournal) December 15, 2023