The attack on a Franklin Central High School teacher — the second on an Indianapolis-area teacher in the past week — is “a reminder of the things that teachers deal with every single day’’ but doesn’t necessarily signal any new wave of violence or danger, a teacher’s union official said Wednesday.
Mark Shoup, a spokesman for the Indiana State Teachers Union, said it is difficult to anticipate what issues a student brings to class each day. Problems at home or with friends could lead to a student acting out in class or verbal or physical altercations with staff.
“This is not new. We have had these incidents over the years,” Shoup said. “It is out of the ordinary to have two so close together. But this is a reminder of the things that teachers deal with every single day. We hope policy makers take note, to help teachers and students have the safest environment.”
A federal report released in 2011 found little change from previous years in how many teachers reported being physically attacked by a student from their school.
Recent assaults on area teachers have happened in and outside the classroom.
Last week, teacher Garrett Heator at John Marshall Community High School suffered a broken jaw after he reportedly was punched by a student. Police arrested an IPS ninth-grader in connection with the incident. Heator underwent a medical procedure Saturday to help the jaw heal properly.
“He’s looking at a six-week recovery,” IPS spokesman John Althardt said Wednesday. “It’s a pretty significant injury.”
Tuesday’s incident at Franklin Central High School shows how issues at home can affect a student’s behavior in the school. A 16-year-old student, who told police he was in an angry mood, faces preliminary criminal charges and likely expulsion after teacher Kent Evans was punched in the face.
The boy attributed his anger to disciplinary actions he already faced at home, according to an Indianapolis Metropolitan Police Department report.
“I got in trouble yesterday for talking back to a teacher and wearing some jewelry,” the teen was quoted saying in the report. “When I got home, my mom took away my XBox (game system), my Beats (headphones) and my cell phone. … I was mad because all my stuff was taken away.
“I hit him because he was the closest teacher, and I was mad,” the student told police.
The incident, which was captured on school surveillance cameras, occurred shortly before 8 a.m. at the school’s freshman campus. The school is located at 6915 S. Franklin Road.
The principal of the freshman academy, Chase Houtari, told police he witnessed the attack. Staff members called police after taking the student to the school’s office. An officer arrived and placed the student in handcuffs.
The student was suspended for 10 days pending expulsion and is not allowed on school property except to attend a future expulsion hearing.
Police arrested the student on preliminary charges of battery and disorderly conduct. He was transported to a juvenile detention facility. Evans, 58, was taken to a medical clinic to be examined for jaw pain.
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