During an assembly last week a high school student threw a pencil at the back of a teacher’s head but missed. The student had just received news he didn’t like and chucked the pencil. The vice-principal removed him from this teacher’s class, but the receiving teacher did not know why the student was added, and the student did not get a suspension. With the past administration the receiving teacher was notified, and the student would have been suspended.
I’m happy the student is no longer in the teacher’s class, but I wonder where the line is drawn when considering what is an assault on a teacher and what is not. After reading the NEA article about violence towards teachers, I wonder where lines are drawn.
If the student had better aim, would this be considered assault, a suspendable offense?
Is an injury required?
Does assault begin with a punch?
I also worry about the precedent set here. This decision will affect the results of future incidents. The student is already gloating about his lack of consequence, essentially excited to get a teacher he likes better.
Will teachers feel they can report incidents such as these if they perceive an acceptable consequence isn’t given?
Will this widen the divide between the teachers and the administrators?
This will be an interesting one to watch. Any thoughts out there in blogland?