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Baltimore teacher punched in viral video shares lesson of forgiveness

Posted: 11:36 PM, Nov 15, 2018
Updated: 2018-11-15 23:37:09-05

“You get the worst day of your life over and over again.  The worst minute of your life...This is all I've done my life and so having all of this happen and then you have to see it repeated it's been very hard.”

That's how Camille Hinmon describes the viral video that changed her life.

VIDEO: Baltimore teacher punched in face by student

She's been a Baltimore City School teacher for more than 30 years.  She was proud to show WMAR-2 News her binder full of accomplishments and certifications but don't be mistaken she never sought the limelight.

“I was just a shock.  When someone asked me how did it feel, I told them I was in complete shock, sometimes I feel like I'm still in complete shock.”

It was November 7th, her birthday, her first day at  Frederick Douglass High School with a new class.

Hinmon had just undergone cancer surgery in September.

It was a student's punch that pushed her into the spotlight.

“It was very painful.  It hurt so much it made me cry.

It's hard to believe it, but Hinmon harbors no ill feelings toward the student.

“I'd like to reach out to her and let her know that I forgive her and that I hope that she can get the help that she needs so she can make better choices in her life.”

How did she keep her composure?  She'd just completed a course on restraint earlier this year.

“I took a deep breath and I said that I had to remain calm and that's just those techniques that you have to use.  No matter what happens you have to remain calm.”

Born to two educators, she was destined to teach.  She became a science teacher.

Her father was a student of George Washington Carver who went on to become a Botany professor at Morgan State University.

Her mother Susan, was a school counselor. 

“It's been very difficult I haven’t been able to talk about it with my mother and before I knew there was a tape, I hadn't planned on not telling my mother because she's 94 years old."

Hinmon says she's watched the classroom climate change over the years and it scares her.  

Will she return to the classroom?

“Right now I don't think I can say yes because it might be a situation of copycat where other people might want to do it so I'm fearful of that.”

So what does the future hold for the 57-year-old teacher doing the only job she's ever loved?

“The next chapter is something that hasn't been written, and I'm looking forward to some guidance from the very people that I trust but I'm hoping it’s going to be a happy chapter.”