West Haven teacher fired after video shows him pulling chair out from under student

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WEST HAVEN — A middle school teacher has been fired after a video surfaced that shows him pulling a chair out from under a student. David Pfaff, 31, had been a teacher at Bailey Middle School in West Haven since September.

Pfaff says the incident happened over a month ago, but was fired last week when video of it appeared.

He told “Chaz and AJ in the Morning” the incident started when a student refused to move his chair. The situation escalated and other students tried to intervene, but the student started calling other students and Pfaff names.

Audio courtesy of Chaz and AJ in the Morning, on 102.9 the Whale (Hartford,) 99.1 PLR (New Haven,) and 95.9 the Fox (Fairfield County.)

Pfaff did not describe what specifically happened when the chair was pulled, but said afterward the student had a “meltdown” and security was called. Pfaff said the student also was wrecking equipment in the room.

After spending most of his career in the chemical industry, Pfaff earned his teaching certificate in August of 2014. He spent the 2014-2015 school year as a substitute in the Middletown School System. He was in his first year as an 8th grade science teacher at Bailey Middle School when he was fired on Friday.

School officials said that because it’s a personnel matter and is under investigation that they can’t comment on the incident.

Superintendent Neil Cavallaro released the following statement:

As soon as we were notified last week of the incident in question, we immediately contacted the appropriate authorities and terminated the teacher, who was still on the probationary period that all new teachers are on when they are hired in our district. We cannot comment further, as the investigation is ongoing and it is also a personnel matter.