Video shows Palatka teacher knock out student's front tooth, police say

PALATKA, Fla — A shocking video shows a Palatka gym teacher chuck a basketball at a 6th grader and then elbow him in the mouth which knocked out his front tooth.

Palatka police said James Bellamy, 41, was arrested on child abuse and battery charges Monday after security cameras at Putnam Academy of Arts & Sciences showed the incident.

“Seeing him do it to my son on the video, that’s when was like ‘oh my god.’ My baby is 12,” Toni Foster, his mother, said. “I’m angry. I’m still angry. But my thing is why? There is no way you could’ve got that upset.”


The security video shows her son first hit Bellamy while playing basketball. According to the report, Bellamy said, “get your black a** out on the court.” Then the 41-year-old gym teacher threw a basketball, the 12-year-old ducks, and the teacher struck him in the mouth with his elbow.

According to the report, the teacher told police it was not intentional, but he was fired on Monday. Action News Jax reached out to the Putnam County School District for comment and they said “We are all terribly concerned that this incident occurred as we want the best for all Putnam County students no matter what school their families choose for them” and then added “Putnam County School District only oversees the charter for Putnam Academy of Arts and Sciences. The district is not involved in their policies or hiring processes. Also, we do not keep personnel records on any of the charter school employees.”

Foster said the blow knocked out her son’s front tooth and chipped the other front tooth. Doctors are going to attempt repairing it Thursday, but she said if they can’t her son will need to wait until he’s 21 years old for a fake tooth.

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Bellamy was released on a $6500 bond Tuesday with a no-contact order. Foster told Action News Jax’s Robert Grant that the Department of Children and Families reached out to her with questions about the incident.

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