Crime

Roosevelt High student arrested after videos show her punching teacher

A 15-year-old freshman at Roosevelt High School in Fresno is facing a felony assault charge after videos surfaced on social media showing her punch a substitute teacher several times and follow the man out of the classroom on Friday.

Fresno police Lt. Joe Gomez said the girl, who was not identified because of her age, also will face two misdemeanor charges of disturbing the peace. The attack occurred around 2 p.m.

Cellphone videos taken by students in the classroom show the student punch the man, who also was not identified, several times in the face before he left the classroom. The videos show her follow the teacher outside.

Gomez said the conflict arose after the teacher told students to put away their cellphones during class time. One student refused and plugged her phone into a wall outlet in the front of the room. The substitute unplugged the phone, and the student punched him.

Fresno Unified School District Superintendent Michael Hanson spoke about the attack at a Wednesday news conference.

“It was horrific,” he said, “and it won’t be tolerated.”

Hanson said a state law allows students to have their cellphones at school for safety reasons, but it stipulates that they must be turned off and put away during class time. The student clearly violated both the education code and the penal code, he added, and she has been suspended until the criminal case can be resolved.

The student will likely be expelled, Hanson said.

The teacher was back on assignment at a different school on Tuesday. Gomez said he suffered scratches on his neck and face but was not seriously hurt.

As of 5 p.m. Tuesday, the student was still in custody at the Fresno County Juvenile Justice Campus. Attempts to reach the campus and inquire about the girl’s current status were not immediately successful.

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