A Bullard High School teacher and a classroom aide are pressing charges against a student after an alleged assault, police said Monday.
On Dec. 7, a male student punched a female teacher twice in the chest and pushed an aide, slamming her into a stairway railing, according to Fresno police Lt. Joe Gomez. The student also blocked the classroom door, refusing to let the school employees leave during the altercation.
The alleged assault happened in a special education classroom. The student could face battery charges, and the case is being reviewed by the Fresno County District Attorney Office’s juvenile department. Police did not release the student’s name because he is a minor.
“The student was getting defiant and the teacher and aide knew him quite well so they took him to the office, and he was allowed to go back to class, as a second chance, and that’s when the assault happened,” Gomez said.
According to state law, battery committed against a school employee is punishable by imprisonment up to one year or by fine up to $2,000. The punishment could be worse, depending on the assault.
Bullard High is committed to providing a safe learning environment for all our students and staff.
Principal Carlos Castillo
Bullard High School principal Carlos Castillo said the school took “immediate disciplinary action.”
“Bullard High is committed to providing a safe learning environment for all our students and staff,” Castillo said in an email Monday.
Fresno Unified School District spokesman Miguel Arias would not release further details, citing confidentiality laws. The teacher and aide could not be reached for comment.
The altercation comes in the midst of calls from Bullard teachers for stricter discipline policies. Last week, teachers released a petition demanding that Fresno Unified leaders do something about unruly classrooms, saying discipline is mishandled and they no longer feel safe on campus.
“Our students deserve a safe environment where they can give their best in order to reach their full potential. But we can’t expect our students to feel safe if teachers don’t feel safe,” the petition reads. “And the truth is, many Bullard teachers no longer feel safe. Recent events have forced Bullard teachers to face this stark reality and to ask hard questions about why this is happening and what can be done.”