Public school teachers are now getting in on the action when it comes to America’s bullying problem.
In Pawtucket, R.I., Slater Junior High School teacher Richard C. Koster faces misdemeanor charges over allegations that he physically assaulted a student who tried to scarf down a cookie in his classroom on March 18.
According to The Boston Globe, Koster told the unidentified male student not to eat in his class. The student may or may not have then made some sort of face at Koster.
Koster allegedly responded by following the kid to his next class, picking him up at the waist, pinning him to the wall and calling him a “freak.”
Court documents obtained by local CBS affiliate WPRI indicate that a second teacher entered the fray to try to defuse the escalating confrontation.
The boy’s family contacted police to press charges. Koster, 49, now faces a simple assault charge. He turned himself in this week and was released on a $1,000 personal recognizance bond.
He is now on administrative leave as well. It’s not clear if the leave is paid.
Meanwhile, an eighth grader in Waterbury, Conn. surreptitiously recorded his junior high reading teacher declaring that she wanted to beat the crap out of another student with whom she had gotten into a dispute at lunch.
The teacher, Mary Lou Addona, allegedly announced her desire to go “one-on-one” with student Jesus Velez, reports NBC Connecticut.
“Me and him, one-on-one, I’d punch him right in the face and break that glass in his eye,” Addona appears to have said in the recording.
“I wanted him suspended, but what does he do? He just cries,” she also can be heard saying. “I can’t stand a crybaby.”
A bit later in the four-minute recording, Addona can also be heard speaking to a new student in her class.
“What is your name anyway? Blake. Blake, what kind of name is Blake? Irish, Italian, French? What are you? White?”
The secret recording was made by a student named Aaron Stewart, who said he correctly guessed that Addona’s lunchtime frustration would carry over to the next class period.
It’s not clear why Addona and Velez were arguing, but this fight pretty clearly wasn’t their first.
“She just screamed at me,” Velez told NB Connecticut, “so she just found a way to pick on me.”
The boy’s mother, Ellise Vasquez, was “disgusted, upset, mad, angry, everything else” after hearing the clandestine recording.
“How can she talk to my son that way?” she asked in an NBC Connecticut interview.
School district officials won’t call Addona’s actions bullying. Instead, they are calling it “belittling,” which is totally different.
The teacher is also on administrative leave. It’s not clear if the leave is paid.