ANTIOCH, Tenn. (WZTV) — A Metro Nashville teacher was assaulted by students at least twice in the same school year.
FOX 17 News first reported Monday about a video showing an Antioch High School teacher getting pepper sprayed by a student for confiscating her cell phone.
A new video has now emerged, showing the same teacher repeatedly getting punched in the head earlier this school year by a different student. The video poster said the teacher was also trying to confiscate a cell phone at the time of this attack.
“It’s no surprise because we’re seeing teacher assaults continue to escalate across our state,” JC Bowman with the Professional Educators of TN said.
Bowman says he often hears from teachers who feel unsafe in the classroom and feel unsupported by their administrators.
“Districts do not take it near as serious as they should be,” Bowman said.
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An MNPS spokesperson said each student received “appropriate disciplinary consequences” for these attacks.
But what does that mean?
Federal law prevents MNPS from sharing specific punishments.
But according to district discipline policy, using pepper spray and assaulting a teacher both fall under a “type four” behavior, which does not result in automatic expulsion.
The punishment options for type four behaviors vary widely. The punishment could be as little as one day of in school suspension, or as severe as getting expelled.
The discipline policy says the punishment for assaulting a teacher includes one to three days of in school suspension, one to five days of out of school suspension, or a combination of in and out of school suspension not to exceed five days. Type four behaviors also include the option to expel a student based on a number of factors, including the seriousness of the act, the student’s willingness to repair the harm caused, and more.
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Expulsion is defined by the district as a last resort.
The only way a teacher assault results in expulsion is if it’s considered “aggravated assault,” defined by the district as assault with a deadly weapon, or by causing injury that requires more than basic first aid.
FOX 17 News asked MNPS how they respond to concerns of punishment is being too lax for assaulting a teacher.
A spokesperson said in part:
“Our disciplinary policies are reviewed annually and developed in coordination with stakeholders, including teachers, to promote a safe learning environment while also prioritizing the need for students to receive a quality education.”
MNPD says an incident report has been filed in relation to the pepper spray assault. MNPD says the student is a minor and both parties claim the other assaulted the other.
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