SAN JOSE, CA – A special-ed teacher from Oak Grove School District was fired after coughing twice into a child’s face intentionally.
The woman was angry because the mother of the child was allegedly not practicing social distancing correctly.
The incident occurred on June 12, at 5:25pm at Yogurt land in San Jose, California.
The San Jose Police Department told the news that the woman was standing in line with a mother of a one-year-old who was in a stroller. There is video coverage of the incident.
Police said that the “teacher was upset the mother was not maintaining proper social distancing and stood too close to her.” The video from the Yogurt land shows that the mother of the child was following “proper social distancing protocol” by standing on the bright pink line in the store.
When the mother of the one-year old wasn’t paying attention, the teacher removed her mask and went over and put her face close to the one-year old and coughed two or three times in the child’s face.
The Police Tribune reported there was a press release by the Oak Grove School District, where the teacher worked. The press released stated:
“As many know, there have been allegations that a District employee involved in a videotaped incident in which the person appeared to have intentionally coughed on a baby at a local Yogurt land.
We want to inform our community that the District employee who was alleged to have engaged in this conduct is no longer an employee of our District.
The Oak Grove School District’s highest priority is the safety of our students and the well-being of all the children in the community we serve. We do not tolerate conduct from any employee that compromises and child’s safety.”
@OakGroveSD We want to inform our community that the District employee who was alleged to have engaged in this conduct is no longer an employee of our District. The Oak Grove School District’s highest priority is the safety of our students. Read more @ https://t.co/Iripi173yg https://t.co/3sX3U6ODDc
— Laura Meusel (@lameusel) July 5, 2020
KTVU reported that Mirey Mora said:
“She and her one-year-old son are of Hispanic descent. I believe this woman may be racist because the family in front of her is white.
Me and my grandma are Hispanic, and she started telling me about my distance and harassing me and my son once I started speaking Spanish to my grandma.”
The woman was found out because of the sleuths posted online. Oak Grove School District confirmed the woman was one of their employees in late June.
The woman was not identified until a later date. The San Jose Police Department released a Press Release on June 22, 2020 at 4:40pm. They announced the incident with teacher being unidentified.
San Jose Police Department listed the type of crime as “Assault.” The woman was later identified as Nancy Nordland because of a petition to have her fired went viral online.
The San Jose Police Department is still investigating the incident. Sgt. Eugene Garcia said:
“The act takes on greater significance because of the ongoing coronavirus pandemic.”
The Oak Grove School District stated they had received several threats of violence and damage to its schools because of the incident. The district commented:
“We understand and share the feelings of anger around this incident. However, we ask everyone to remember that the mission of the Oak Grove School District is to serve children, including those from some of the most vulnerable populations in our San Jose community.
Violence or damage to our students’ schools only serves to harm the very population that those who are emailing the District seek to protect: our kids.”
The NAACP told KTVU that the teacher was terminated form the Oak Grove School District on July 3. San Jose Police Department asks if anyone has information on the incident to contact them at 408-277-4161 or leave a tip with the Silicon Valley Crime Stoppers at 408-947-7867 or at svcrimestoppers.org.
It’s reminiscent of a story we covered back in April in New Jersey.
According to a release from the Office of the Attorney General in New Jersey, police arrested a man who had allegedly coughed on officers while claiming to have COVID-19. Apparently, the suspect had even stated to the officer, “If I’m going to die, you’re going to die.”
Erik Rock, a 35-year-old resident from Jersey City, had ventured to a relative’s house on April 16th at some time before 6:00 a.m. and allegedly kicked in a window when the relative wouldn’t allow him inside the home.
Jersey City man coughs on cops: ‘If I’m going to die, you’re going to die’ https://t.co/upYZntisfA
— Maria Bonanno (@MariaBonanno9) April 17, 2020
The homeowner called police and a unit from the Jersey City Police Department responded. Responding officers noted that Rock didn’t have any belongings inside the home, and was taking him into custody for the busted window.
While police were arresting Rock, he allegedly coughed on the officers while proclaiming to be infected with COVID-19 and then stated:
“If I’m going to die, you’re going to die.”
Those actions heavily escalated his charges. Rock is now facing two counts of second-degree terroristic threats during an emergency, two counts of aggravated assault on a police officer, two counts of throwing bodily fluid at an officer, criminal mischief, and harassment.
While there’s been no mention as to whether the suspect did in fact have COVID-19, it would be a reasonable bet to say he’ll have plenty of time to think about his behavior in jail.
This isn’t the only incident related to alleged intentional coughing in New Jersey during the pandemic. An individual inside of a grocery store in Manalapan Township managed to land some heavy charges for supposedly doing something quite similar last month.
A New Jersey man is facing charges of terroristic threats, harassment, and obstruction after allegedly coughing on a grocery store employee while claiming to have COVID-19.
Even the state’s governor referred to the accused as a “knucklehead” in a recent press conference.
Governor Phil Murphy made the comment on March 24th while making reference to the incident that played out at a Wegmans grocery store on March 22nd.
George Falcone was allegedly having some kind of a dispute with a female employee inside of the store on March 22nd, when he started to cough on her.
According to the press conference that Governor Murphy held after the incident, the suspect did the following:
“He coughed on the woman and told her, after doing so, that he had [COVID-19].”
When police got involved in the matter, the 50-year-old suspect was being uncooperative as all get-out.
Falcone had apparently refused to provide his name to authorities or produce his driver’s license in excess of 40 minutes.
Well, that display landed Falcone a court summons.
State Attorney Gurbir Grewal’s office released a statement on March 24th detailing the incident:
“The employee was concerned that Falcone was standing too close to her and an open display of prepared foods, so she requested that he step back as she covered the food.
Instead, Falcone allegedly stepped forward to within 3 feet of her, leaned toward her, and purposely coughed. He allegedly laughed and said he was infected with the [COVID-19].”
Grewal also noted that Falcone could be looking at up to six years in prison for that stunt he pulled.
He explained that now is not the time to create this kind of panic during the ongoing pandemic:
“These are extremely difficult times in which all of us are called upon to be considerate of each other — not to engage in intimidation and spread fear, as alleged in this case. We must do everything we can to deter this type of conduct and any similar conduct that harms others during this emergency.”
Governor Murphy issued a stern warning to those who find themselves considering acting out in a similar fashion:
“We will not take any non-compliant behavior.”
A journalist from Reuters had reached out to Falcone on Facebook, inquiring about his take on the accusations made against him.
Falcone denied the accusations in his response:
“Didn’t cough on anyone and never mentioned [the virus].”
— SAten ❄✊🏼❄✊🏼❄ (@1215she) March 24, 2020
Falcone also happens to be the co-owner of Rosario’s Pizza, based in Borden Town, New Jersey. Due to the recent accusations, his company’s Facebook page has been swarmed with comments related to avoiding the establishment.
There’s also a still-active Google search result for Falcone’s LinkedIn profile.
However, likely due to the online harassment, Falcone’s LinkedIn page describing his ownership of the establishment has since been deleted.
Well, that ought to be great for business.
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Author: Charles Cunha