Local News

Henderson coach charged with choking student

Posted July 8, 2008

— Police have filed felony charges against a Henderson Middle School gym coach for choking a student.

John Pecora, 59, is accused of grabbing a 13-year-old boy by the throat and lifting him up, according to Lt. Charles Pulley.

The incident happened around May 19, but police did not file charges until they completed their investigation. The charge was filed on June 27.

Police say the incident was witnessed by a school security guard. Authorities said the boy told them it started when Pecora made fun of the student’s feet.

Pecora was released on $10,000 bond. When asked about his employment status, school spokeswoman Terri Hedrick would only say that it’s a personnel matter.


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  • Dr. Dataclerk Jul 10, 2008

    This coach should not be allowed back into any school. The parents, yes, should file charges. May this coach spend a few years in prison. He was wrong.

  • NCTeacher Jul 9, 2008


    I think I love you. I can't believe attitudes like that still exist in this day and age

  • Stevesteve Jul 9, 2008

    Oldschooltarheel, that was a nice use of racially-charged words and phrases! And, we ALL know what you're talking about when you use the terms "guvmint" and "varmint 'specials'" and mention "entitlements." Why didn't you just say that black people are subhuman and a menace to our glorious white society? Dude, be honest and say it like you probably say it around your family and close friends. We won't judge you.

    And, I'll bet you did love the 1950s -- that wonderful time when blacks were LEGALLY kept out of jobs, good schools and decent housing. Perhaps you could whistle Dixie for all of us. Yeehaw!

  • oldschooltarheel Jul 8, 2008

    back in the "neanderthal" 1950s no kid would've been so indescribably rude, insolent and vile as many of the lil preciouses sent into the school system by incompetent overbreeding "parents" who abdicate the socializing of their varmint "specials" to a school system designed to teach them to read & write (in English), learn some primitive scientific concepts, read a map & perform basic mathematics. It is as if the parents have schooled their lil monsters to set up someone for the big payola. Of course these offspring inevitably spring from the loins of those who depend on the "entitlement" of guvmint schools - either too dumb or too lazy (or too busy breeding more than they can provide for) to provide a private school education - better to drain they system & sue if you can. The state should just throw in the towel & let the parents use their tax savings from not funding schools to send their precious to private schools (a nun & a ruler gets good results).

  • Raleigh Pioneer Jul 8, 2008

    SteveSteve, I'm amazed that your view is very much the minority. I truly thought people had moved on from the Neanderthal days. I know many 'not so savory' characters who were spanked regularly. Most of the successful people I know were not spanked... they were disciplined, but not spanked. There is a way to discipline without physically hurting a child. Yes, it's more difficult parenting, but to me it's worth it.

    As for a lot of you, I'm totally flabbergasted that you think it's OK for a teacher to choke a child. This is SO not OK... and no, I'm not some left-wing kook! I actually lean to the right. ; )

  • jlvjohnson Jul 8, 2008

    If anyone has spent any time in a Middle School they will understand how this age kid can push the mildest mannered person to loosing their temper....most respect for teachers is gone in this day and time and eventually we will not be able to find a teacher to put in the classroom....they will all get to the point where it is NOT worth the frustration...they certainly are not working at school to make a good living...it's more like they are working in the mission field...most teacher's kids could qualify for free lunch!!

  • GingerTea Jul 8, 2008

    I'm waiting for the rest of the story to come out. I have a feeling there's more to it. I agree that choking the kid is wrong...but I've known this man's family since I was in grade school - this is not typical behavior for any of them.

  • Spirit Warrior BallReceptable Jul 8, 2008

    For those of you in education that fear for your safety - why do you continue in your profession? If you loathe the children, you've got no business being there.

    For those of you who spank your kids, there are those of us that believe child-rearing can be done without raising our hands in anger and frustration. Incremental improvements like this from one generation to the next help us as a species transcend from savage animals to something quite a bit more refined and civilized.

    I greatly enjoyed SteveSteve's perspectives on the correlation of child-abuse / spanking to your child's future vocation (son, say thank you to the boy when he asks you: "do you want fries with that?"), and I whole heartedly agree with him. There are implications of social class in this debate. I'm of the mind that "sadness is for poor people." You're sad when you get beaten by your ma or pa. Go figure.

  • Maysmom Jul 8, 2008

    This article gives none of the "facts" I know John Pecora and he is a dedicated hard working teacher. Before everyone judges this situation wait for the facts. I've heard bits and pieces of this story in the Daily Dispatch(Henderson Paper) like the kid swung at Mr. Pecora etc...why was the student where he was..what is his record/ teachers record? A lot of questions to be answered before you convict!

  • RAPTOR Jul 8, 2008

    The man was probally fending for his life.This school is notorious for tough students.