A physical education teacher in Stockton, California, has been charged with a misdemeanor corporal injury to a child after attempting to force a 14-year-old student into a pool by dragging her.
The incident took place back in August. The student had refused to participate in gym class that day—she just got her hair done because she had special plans that evening and didn't want to ruin it by getting in the pool. This is something that would have warranted a failing participation grade for the day and an eye roll at worst. But instead of dealing with the situation like rational figure of authority in a high school setting, Danny Peterson used physical force, dragging her by her arms and feet in an attempt to get her into the water.
Multiple times, the student yells that her top is coming off, but Peterson doesn't appear to relent. Peterson was put on paid leave for one month immediately following the incident, but was then reassigned to another school in the district. Paterson has been put on paid leave again in light of the misdemeanor charges. KXTV reports:
The girl's family is being represented by Stockton attorney Gilbert Somera. He says Peterson should have punished the girl academically instead of resorting to physical force.
"This isn't a situation where she's attacking a teacher, and he's defending himself. When a woman or a 14-year-old girl says no, it means no," Somera said.
Again, this could have been so easily avoided. Sure, it's kind of irksome that the girl didn't want to ruin her hair, but it's not like that warrants her being dragged into the pool against her will. At all. Whatsoever. I am pretty sure that teachers are supposed to be able to deal with situations like this professionally and appropriately—Peterson's response was neither.
Image via KXTV.