Paterson teacher fired for allegedly insulting, spitting at freshman girl

This is an archived article and the information in the article may be outdated. Please look at the time stamp on the story to see when it was last updated.

PATERSON, N.J. (PIX11) -- A Paterson high school French teacher has been fired for spitting at a freshman girl in a school stairwell last year. An arbitrator decision to dismiss the tenured teacher states that he also shouted at her, something like: “you’re dirty and stink, go home and take a shower.”

“It’s only one charge,” explained the teacher, Mr. Lat Sall, who taught at John F. Kennedy High School for over 12 years, “One charge they have, and they are saying that I spit at a student. We look at it, we look at the video, no one sees Mr. Sall spitting at a student. I never spit at a student ever.”

The state arbitrator’s decision document does state that surveillance video from the stairwell does not show Mr. Sall “spitting conclusively”, but that his body’s position was “consistent with spitting”. Two students corroborated the charge.

Students outside JFK high school today said they did not know Mr. Sall to have a bad reputation. Sall says the freshman girl he denies spitting at was unruly.

“She was always causing problems in the classroom. I wrote her up many times,” he said.

"I have a great relationship with my students. I have a great relationship with the parents. I love teaching."

Paterson Public School administrators did not reply to requests for comment on this story.