Delaware middle school teacher doubles as 'dad'

NEW CASTLE, Delaware (WPVI) -- A Delaware teacher is doing much more than educating children, he's teaching them to be better human beings.

Khayree Bey is a teacher at McCullough Middle School in the Colonial School District in Delaware. He's not your average instructor. He's a former Marine turned history teacher turned health and mindfulness teacher after he saw the needs of his students.

"I work in an underprivileged and underserved community. Probably historically redlined, some people would say school to prison pipeline," he said.

His students rely on him emotionally, spiritually, and sometimes even for food.

"If they're hungry, you know I always have vegetables or fruit," he said. "I feed a lot of kids."

"I probably get called dad more than I get called Mr. Bey," he said. "Every kid comes to school with an invisible backpack and they've been through trauma and that trauma you don't always see."

He teaches his students how to be mental ninjas and learn to stop and think before they react to situations.

"I teach them breathing techniques that when you learn what your triggers are, you can avoid flipping your lid," he said. "I kind of want to meet the kids where they're at and serve the need that they need, not what I want to learn. We have to listen to what our students are asking for."

Teacher of the Year 2021 - Passing the Torch Khayree Bey June 7th 2020
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