July 22, 2021 By Christian Murray
A Queens substitute teacher was arrested Wednesday for allegedly threatening to shoot a class of middle school students if they did not listen to him.
Alejandro Rocha, a Sunnyside resident who was teaching at IS-5—The Walter Crowley Intermediate School in Elmhurst, allegedly made the disturbing remark at around 2 p.m.
“If you don’t do what you’re told, I’m going to shoot you. And yes, I have a gun,” Rocha allegedly said.
He was arrested hours later and charged with “making a terroristic threat,” police said.
He admitted to school officials that he made the comment but argued that it was a bad joke.
Rocha has been suspended, according to a Department of Education spokeswoman.
“This is absolutely unacceptable,” a DOE spokesperson said in a statement. “The substitute teacher was immediately suspended and if this deeply disturbing allegation is found to be true, he will be fired.”
Rocha began as a substitute teacher in September 2001 and has no prior disciplinary history, the department said. He has been suspended without pay and not currently eligible to work in city schools.
It’s unfair that unruly students causing unsafe educational environments for other students and Faculty.