8th Grader Assaults Teacher: Officials

Police arrest 8th grader after attack: school officials

A Philadelphia middle school teacher was hospitalized Monday after allegedly being assaulted by a student apparently angry over a grade.

The alleged attack happened around 10:30 a.m. inside the Morris E Leeds Middle School in the Mount Airy section of the city, according to the Philadelphia School District.

School officials say Lawrence Williams, 60, was returning papers to his eighth grade class when an argument began with a 14-year-old student apparently angry over some of the teacher's corrections.

"A verbal altercation turned into a physical assault -- a student assaulted a teacher," said school district spokesman Fernando Gallard.

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The student apparently punched Williams, who has taught at Leeds for about two decades, in the face.

"The teacher has a lot of swelling around the face," Gallard said. "So far we know the student actually punched the teacher several times."

Williams was taken to Einstein Hospital to be checked out and later released around 1:30 pm., according to school officials.

The student was suspended immediately and arrested on aggravated assault and endangerment charges, according to the district.

The Philadelphia Federation of Teachers sent out this statement late in day:

"There is absolutely no place for violence in our schools. It is unacceptable under any circumstances for a student to lay a hand on anyone, but especially a teacher or school employee. Schools must be safe for students and staff."

Union President Jerry T. Jordan said in the statement that cutting support staff makes it hard for teachers and the remaining staff to stay in control when there are issues with students.

"Continued cuts to the staff assigned to schools to make them more safe shows me that the district hasn’t learned the lessons it should have learned five years ago this month, when a Germantown High School teacher’s career was ended by a brutal student assault. Teachers and staff have to know that support personnel is available when they need it."

The student, who is a minor, wasn't identified.


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