1. Headline
  1. Headline

Video: Video shows teacher swear, toss chair

TODAY staff
updated 10/12/2010 3:45:04 PM ET 2010-10-12T19:45:04

It’s uncommon, though certainly not unheard of, for people to have serious breakdowns in the workplace. But when the person who loses it is a teacher, prompting students to flee his classroom in fear, the world tends to notice.

  1. More TODAY News
    1. Dr. Phil, viewers weigh in on dad who shot laptop
    2. First lady greets surprised tourists at the White House
    3. Pedaling hope: War veterans plan 4,163-mile bike ride
    4. Sports Illustrated cover girl revives age of supermodel
    5. Lauren Scruggs takes first vacation, tweets photos

Donald Brian Wood, a veteran high school teacher in Nashville with 21 years of classroom experience, had a rather epic meltdown during his Algebra II class on Friday. A student chronicled the disturbing eruption on a cell phone, and a video of the incident quickly became a viral sensation on YouTube.

The video begins with what seems to be humorous, harmless banter as Wood tries to get his class to quiet down. Wood even appears to be smiling at the outset. The mood abruptly changes when Wood visibly snaps. He begins overturning tables, smashing furniture and throwing desks. Students become so panicked that they run from the classroom. Wood eventually breaks a window with a desk.

Image: Brian Wood
AP
Donald Brian Wood, a Nashville math teacher, had what his family called a nervous breakdown in his classroom.

Wood, a father of five, has been placed on administrative leave, and his family said he’s receiving psychiatric treatment at Vanderbilt University Medical Center. Wood’s sister, Leanne Smith, issued a statement about the incident on Monday.

“My older brother, Brian Wood, had what appeared to be a nervous breakdown in his classroom while serving in his role as a math teacher at McGavock High School,” Smith said, reading the prepared statement at a press conference. “No one was physically harmed or injured, including him, and for that we are deeply grateful.”

Video: Video shows teacher swear, toss chair (on this page)

Smith said her brother regrets his actions in the classroom.

“He expressed his passion and love for teaching and concern for his students,” she said, adding: “The lack of respect for authority in our society’s classrooms across the nation is one of the many consequences of the way public school teachers are forced to deal with their classrooms today.”

McGavock High School’s principal, Robbin Wall, told reporters that it’s fortunate no one was injured on Friday.

  1. More from TODAY.com
    1. Ray Rice, wife Janay speak to Matt Lauer in a TODAY exclusive

      Ray and Janay Rice Janay will join Matt Lauer for exclusive interviews airing Monday and Tuesday on TODAY.

    2. ‘There has been an awakening’: See the new ‘Star Wars’ trailer
    3. Watch this flight attendant rock Lorde’s ‘Royals'
    4. 6 awesome turkey sandwiches to make with your Thanksgiving leftovers
    5. Pup, pup and away! Photographer lets leaping dogs fly

“I’m not a doctor, but what we saw was a little bit of a nervous breakdown,” Wall told The Tennessean newspaper. “I understand he’s doing better now. It’s sad, he’s a very good man. Always positive and has good things to say. I’ve never seen him be negative or even use profanity, so it was far out of his normal pattern.”

The Tennessean reported that Wood’s performance evaluations characterize him as a knowledgeable teacher who sometimes had problems in his dealings with students and parents. A DuPont-Tyler Middle School administrator wrote in 1998 that Wood had “no rapport with students or parents” and had issues “accusing and being accused of inappropriate physical threats/contact.”

In 1999, a McGavock High School administrator wrote this in Wood’s evaluation: “The problem with Mr. Wood is not his knowledge of the subject, but the way students perceive him. Students try to ‘get’ Mr. Wood in an effort to gain stature with their peers.”

© 2012 MSNBC Interactive.  Reprints

Discuss:

Discussion comments

,

Most active discussions

  1. votes comments
  2. votes comments
  3. votes comments
  4. votes comments

More on TODAY.com

  1. 7 apps to help you shop this holiday season

    Download these apps to help keep track of your spending, locate your family, and easily use loyalty and rewards cards.

    11/28/2014 12:05:43 PM +00:00 2014-11-28T12:05:43
  1. Blogging Over Thyme , A Spicy Pe

    8 great recipes for leftover Thanksgiving sides and desserts

    11/26/2014 5:11:02 PM +00:00 2014-11-26T17:11:02
  1. Star Wars / YouTube

    ‘There has been an awakening’: See the new ‘Star Wars’ trailer

    11/28/2014 4:46:51 PM +00:00 2014-11-28T16:46:51
  1. Courtesy of Courtney Rowland/Nei

    6 awesome turkey sandwiches to make with your Thanksgiving leftovers

    11/26/2014 1:57:02 PM +00:00 2014-11-26T13:57:02
  1. TODAY

    Watch this flight attendant rock Lorde’s ‘Royals'

    11/28/2014 4:05:10 PM +00:00 2014-11-28T16:05:10