Society and Culture

NJ Student Assault on Teacher Caught on Tape

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Hey y’all!

Remember the days when you felt safe at school? Yeah. I don’t either. Ever since the shooting at Columbine High School in 1999 there has been a sense of uneasiness that goes along with walking into a school. I was only in eighth grade when Columbine occurred but it seems to me that event was a catalyst for even more shootings at schools. I always took it from the perspective as a student and not ever thinking about the teachers. They are adults, they will know what to do to keep us out of harm’s way. Unfortunately it is part of their job. I may not have always liked my teachers but I always respected them.

Respect for teachers has gone out the window. Of course, I could make a bad joke about all of the female teachers who have been arrested for praying on students for sexual purposes and the lack of respect these women have for themselves and their profession, but I won’t. What is frightening now is that teachers are being attacked by students. Physically attacked by students for the dumbest reasons.

Last week a New Jersey student attacked a teacher. No, I’m sorry this kid did not just attack a teacher, he body slammed the teacher to the floor and it was all caught on video by another student. I wouldn’t say it was a full on, aggressive body slam but this kid picked up the teacher and put him on the ground. In the video you can also hear a faint smack which leads me to believe that the student hit the teacher.

The reason for the assault? The teacher confiscated the student’s phone during class. Is a cell phone that important that you want to get yourself into a situation where you physically harm a teacher? I think not. The teacher is a 62-year-old man just trying to do his job. The student is a 16-year-old freshman who has been suspended from school and was arrested and charged with third-degree aggravated assault.

John F. Kennedy High School in Patterson, New Jersey is where the assault took place. The school district filed a formal complaint against the student and suspended him. The Patterson Police Department arrested and charged the student with assault.

I don’t blame the physics teacher for taking away a student’s cell phone. I will ask again, was losing your phone for the length of a class period worth harming a teacher? I still don’t think so. The lack of respect that kids have for authority these days is insane.

I blame parents. Respect starts at home, keeping your hands to yourself starts at home. I strongly believe that the parents should be punished for their child’s bad behavior as well until they hit the age of 18.

Teachers walk into classrooms every day with the mission of guiding young minds, filling them with knowledge to make themselves and society a better place. Teachers have a job to do, they shouldn’t have to worry about whether or not they are going to have to physically defend themselves from their students. Many people have commented that they were surprised that the teacher in this tragic assault did not defend himself. I think he made the right decision; had he tried to defend himself he very well could have lost his job, but also could have been put into a more dangerous situation. The teacher remained as calm as possible while making sure that he kept some composure and held his body stiff so as not to do any more bodily harm.

I applaud this teacher for doing his job and not allowing some 16-year-old punk to destroy his life. Once that teacher lays a hand, in self defense or otherwise, he would have to live with those consequences for the rest of his life. Just like this 16-year-old kid will.

Allison Dawson
Allison Dawson was born in Germany and raised in Mississippi and Texas. A graduate of Texas Tech University and Arizona State University, she’s currently dedicating her life to studying for the LSAT. Twitter junkie. Conservative. Get in touch with Allison at



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