School Teacher Charged with Terroristic Threats Against Philadelphia Police Officer at Rizzo Statue Protest

He has been taken out of his classroom at a school by the district pending an investigation, a district spokesman said.

A Philadelphia school teacher was charged early Saturday with allegedly making terroristic threats against a police officer during a protest at the Rizzo statue Aug. 16, according to court documents.

John Sheerin, 63, of Crescentville, is seen on a video shot by local reporter and columnist Helen Ubiñas during protests in the shadow of the statue for Frank Rizzo, a former mayor and police commissioner. (Warning: The video contains extremely graphic language.)

A phone number for Sheerin went to voicemail, which indicated that the mailbox was full and a message could not be left.

Sheerin most recently taught at Julia De Burgos Elementary School. A spokesman for the Philadelphia School District confirmed last week, prior to Sheerin's arrest, that they are aware of the incident and investigating it.

On Saturday, district spokesman Lee Whack said in an email that Sheerin would not return to his school, pending the ongoing investigation.

"The safety of our students and staff is our highest priority. This is a matter which we take very seriously," Whack said. "The School District is aware of his arrest, but prior to his arrest Mr. Sheerin had been under investigation. He has been removed from his school pending our investigation."

Courtesy of Helen Ubiñas, Philadelphia Inquirer and Daily News columnist
John Sheerin, a Philadelphia school teacher, seen here yelling at a police officer during a protest at the Rizzo statue in Center City, was charged Aug. 26 with terroristic threats.

It is unclear how or when Sheerin was arrested. Facebook posts on his page from two members of the local Black Lives Matter chapter indicate that Sheerin also attended a protest by BLM on Thursday night outside the house of a police officer who shot and killed a man earlier in the summer.

Sheerin was released on $5,000 bail and his next hearing is scheduled for Sept. 26.

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