In eleventh grade marine science class, dissecting a sea clam is a requirement.
“Yes it’s nasty, but you don’t have to do anything crazy,” senior Jangle Holt said.
One student at Springstead High School in Spring Hill refused to take part in the class dissection, and according to classmates she decided to take her anger out on the teacher.
“The fact that the teacher held herself back and called somebody to come and handle it was really professional of her,” Holt said.
According to the arrest report that 17-year-old, who we’re not naming because of her age, cursed at the teacher and was told to leave.
It then states she shoved the teacher, knocked the goggles off of her face, and pulled her thumb backwards when the teacher tried restraining her. The report states the student also spit on the teacher’s face and neck.
Other students who saw what happened got upset and stepped in to help. One of those students punched the 17-year-old in the face and a fight broke out between the students.
The teacher was eventually able to stop the fight and the 17-year-old student left the class.
“When it comes down to it, the only thing left anymore is law enforcement which is sad because teachers aren’t allowed to handle things,” Jimmy Holt said.
Parents tell ABC Action News this may be the only way to discipline students since teachers can’t fight back.
We contacted several school districts and asked for reports of teacher assaults. We learned students cursing at or hitting teachers is fairly common.
School districts across our area consider teachers or anyone who works for the school as a “school board employee.” A school board employee could also be an administrator or a member of a school’s support staff.
Hernando County schools couldn’t give us exact numbers of how many reports there have been but in Hillsborough County there are 30 reports of battery on a school board employee this year alone.
In Sarasota County there were six reports of battery on school board employees for the 2014-2015 school year and one report so far this year.
“Usually people that do things like that, they tend to graduate on to bigger and better things. I hope not, and I hope this is a lesson to the person,” Jimmy Holt said.
We reached out to both the teacher and the student and didn’t hear back from either of them. While the student went to juvenile detention. She was later released to her mother. It’s unclear at this time if she will face any type of suspension.
The school district said prior to the student being able to return to school, an administrative hearing is conducted wherein that administrative team will use the Student Code of Conduct to guide their discipline determinations.