Northern Va. teacher resigns after video discussing Capitol riot

A Northern Virginia middle school teacher, who reportedly told students he was at the Capitol during the Jan. 6 riot, has resigned.

Benjamin Plummer, a teacher and soccer coach at Fred Lynn Middle School, in Woodbridge, was placed on leave in mid-January. A video circulating on social media appeared to show Plummer discussing the Capitol riot, telling students attendees were “incredibly peaceful” and it was a media “setup.”

News of the teacher’s resignation came in a Feb. 2 letter to parents from principal Hamish Brewer. The letter said a substitute teacher would remain in place until the end of the school year.

The middle school is part of the Prince William County Public Schools system.

In the video shared on social media, Plummer apparently said of the mob march, “I was there. That’s what I witnessed. … When I heard the media just blaming Trump supporters the whole time, I knew then that it was a setup.”

In the video, the teacher went on to say that “We listened to three months in the summer of organizations destroying cities, burning cities, looting cities. So what does the media say about these people? ‘Oh, they’re peaceful protesters.’ OK. Now you have Trump supporters that are incredibly peaceful. They’re all Christian. They believe in God. They’re not there to damage or hurt things.”

At the time he was placed on leave, the school system said employees have a right to engage in political activity in their personal time. “However, employees may not engage in political activities during worktime, on school property, or using school resources, and employees who engage in criminal activity which calls into question their fitness as a role model for students may no longer qualify for employment with PWCS. ”

The Associated Press contributed to this report

Jack Moore

Jack Moore joined WTOP.com as a digital writer/editor in July 2016. Previous to his current role, he covered federal government management and technology as the news editor at Nextgov.com, part of Government Executive Media Group.

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