The recent bizarre incident on the United Airlines flight in which a doctor was pulled off the plane left a high school teacher so upset that he took his students off it, according to a report in the global media.
Jason Powell, a teacher at Louisville Male High School, was on the flight seated about five rows ahead of the man with seven of his history students.
They were returning from a spring break trip overseas. They sat together near the back of the plane, tired from a previous flight between Munich and Chicago.
"The poor guy, I really do feel for him," Powell said by phone Tuesday. "This didn't need to happen. I'm sure he didn't expect it to happen to him; I wouldn't have expected that to happen to me."
Powell said he understood the airline's reasoning for removing passengers, but he didn't understand why they didn't take care of the situation before boarding — or why the supervisor who handled it did so with such an annoyed, "belligerent" tone.
"The tone immediately turned me off," Powell said. "She accelerated the situation. It was poor leadership."
When not enough passengers volunteered, Powell said the supervisor told them she would randomly select two people to leave — one of whom ended up being the man pulled off the plane.
"He was very polite, matter-of-fact," Powell said. "I could hear pretty clearly.”
Powell said he and other passengers were in shock, but the worst part, for him, came when the man returned to the plane and was cornered near the bathroom in the back — closer to Powell's students.
"I'm thinking to myself, 'Nothing good is coming of this,'" Powell said. "... I removed my kids from the plane, saying we don't need to see this stuff. We got up and left."
The group was quickly followed by a father and his 8-year-old daughter, who was crying along with one of Powell's students, he said.