[ video at conclusion of article ]
A ninth-grade student in Paterson, New Jersey was arrested Friday after police say he attacked a teacher in science class.
The attack, captured on video, shows the John F. Kennedy High School student slamming a 62-year-old physics teacher to the classroom floor after the student’s cell phone was confiscated.
The student, 16, has wrapped his arms around the teacher’s torso and attempts to slam the teacher onto a vacant desk. As other students flee the classroom, the student forces the teacher to the front of the room and onto the ground. What the student does at this point forward is unclear, though the student appears to grab hold of his phone after struggling prying it from the teacher’s hands.
The incident occurred at about 1 p.m. on Tuesday, officials say.
Following the incident, the district filed a complaint against the student.
The student was arrested at his home on Friday and was charged with third-degree aggravated assault.
“We took a statement from the teacher today,” said Capt. Heriberto Rodriguez. “After that, we went out and found the juvenile and arrested him.”
Students at JFK High School area allowed to use cell phones in class for academic purposes, Principal David Cozart said, but staff may confiscate the phone and return it at the end of the day if a student uses it for other reasons.
Both the name of the student and teacher involved have not been released.
“Let me say that this is a very upsetting incident and certainly one that we take seriously as the safety of our students and staff is our top priority,” said Terry Corallo, district spokeswoman.
The student will receive home instruction while on suspension. A disciplinary hearing will determine where the student will be placed for the remainder of the school year.
“I’m disappointed I didn’t see any other kids in the classroom help [the teacher] out,” Corallo said. “Maybe they were afraid. I don’t know.”
“What strikes me is that the teacher never even defended himself,” said Lee McNulty, a retired JFK teacher who has spoken out about violence and disorder in the high school before.
“That just shows how much teachers are afraid of losing their job.”
“It’s troubling that in our society today students think that inside a school they can put their hands on each other and teachers as well,” Jonathan Hodges, a veteran school board member, told NorthJersey.com
“I went online trying to find this video and I found numerous videos of teachers being attacked by their students.”