Wooddale teacher calls for forgiveness after being attacked by student

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MEMPHIS, Tenn. — A teacher who was attacked by one of his students is encouraging forgiveness rather than dismissing his students as bad people.

Wooddale High School art teacher Mark Kennell was pushed to the ground and punched in the face multiple times last week, and it was all caught on video.

Ladell Beamon, who works with Wooddale students as part of Heal the Hood, said the attack was planned and that some classmates knew about it and were trying to record a viral video.

The 16-year-old suspect was charged with assault and was expelled from school.

Kennell admitted many people may look down on Wooddale as dangerous. “They’re going to say that students there are all horrible, terrible students who are just violent and no good,” he said as he spoke Sunday at his church, Holmes Road Church of Christ.

Instead, Kennell wants people to see the good in Wooddale students.

“Wooddale’s a great school with great students. We have problems, but we all work hard to try to turn our image around, and that begins by forgiving.”

Kennell then led the congregation in prayer.

“Lord, for this student, I personally ask that you forgive him and that forgiveness would be the spirit of my school, Wooddale High School.”

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