MEMPHIS, Tenn. — A teacher at Southwind High School was allegedly punched in the face when she got between two students Friday.
A police report says the teacher heard yelling outside her classroom and saw students gathering like they were getting ready to fight. The teacher said she got between two students.
That’s when one student allegedly struck the teacher several times with a closed fist on the left side of her face.
The teacher involved didn’t need medical attention at the time. The student got a juvenile summons.
The student’s mother, who we are not naming, said her daughter has been suspended for 180 days. But she also says her child never intentionally hit the teacher — the teacher just got in the way.
She said teachers aren’t there to break up fights. That’s why they have security, and the teacher should never have tried to get involved.
But the teacher’s association says teachers are required to intervene.
“To the degree that the teacher can stop can intervene, they must do that. For the teacher to step back and not attempt to diffuse a fight, that’s a violation of the policy as well,” said Keith Williams, the head of the Memphis Shelby County Teachers Association.
Williams says these types of attacks are happening far too often.
“Teachers are, in many instances, very fearful, and are very cautious of student behavior being out of control,” Williams said.
There are security officers at schools. It is not clear where they were at the time of the fight.
The teachers association says something must be done through PTAs, parent liasons or even filing charges.
“Teachers could file claims that will stop this as well as any other citizen. Should we do that, we don’t want to do it,” Williams said.
The teacher involved in the case said she couldn’t talk Wednesday. Memphis-Shelby County Schools did not respond to a request for comment.