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Parents angry after teacher allegedly used lit cigarette lighter as a weapon

MELROSE, THE BRONX — He’s a teacher accused of threatening to burn a student with a cigarette lighter for not doing an assignment in a timely manner.

Now, Alexander Jorge, 47, faces the prospect of spending time behind bars, and some parents at his school are disturbed by the allegations.

“Very concerning,” said Della Thorne, the mother of a seventh grader. “That's very abusive.”

Her daughter attends the New Millennium Business Academy Middle School here, where Jorge, a substitute teacher, is accused of having used a cigarette lighter as a weapon against a student he’d been charged to protect and promote.

According to prosecutors, Jorge approached a student with a lit cigarette lighter, threatening to use it against the student, and possibly others, in retaliation for the student having not completed a classroom assignment in an allotted amount of time.

“It's very concerning, because that's abusive behavior,” said Thorne. “You don't do that to children.”

Jorge is charged with endangering the welfare of a child and reckless endangerment.

Parents reacted unanimously against him.

“They're a child,” said Maria Nella, the parent of children who attend another school in the same school building as New Millenium. “You don't do that to a kid. If you can't do that kind of job, resign and leave the job, and quick.”

PIX11 News was not able to reach Jorge, who, after being arrested on Wednesday for the Tuesday incident, was given a desk appearance ticket. It released him from custody until his criminal case is resolved.

For its part, the Department of Education said, in a statement: “These are deeply troubling allegations, and we immediately suspended this substitute teacher without pay pending the resolution of his criminal case.”

If Jorge is found guilty, he faces up to a year behind bars.