Cali Teacher Charged with Child Abuse for Dragging Student on Pool Floor

Illustration for article titled Cali Teacher Charged with Child Abuse for Dragging Student on Pool Floor

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.

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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.

DISCUSSION

celia
Celia the Vampire Slaying Vampire

I was assaulted by three PE teachers over the years. I'm very very petite and was much more so as a child (as an adult, there's lots of tiny people! In a class of less than 130, not so much). I also have a EDS, which was undiagnosed at the time but I had lots of pain and doctors' notes confirming there was some mysterious physical ailment. The first thought it would be really funny to punish me for talking to my friends in line by demonstrating how small I was via picking me up and "throwing" me through the basketball netting (male teacher, 3rd grade). Another dragged me by my hair onto the track field from inside the gym (long trek) after showing my doctor's note for my back and calling me a liar (female teacher, male assistant teacher who did not care). And then in high school a teacher dragged me into the pool, forced me to write a 20-page paper about my physical disability and why it meant I could never be as healthy and wonderful as the children who could engage in gym class all the time, then forced me to walk the track everyday by myself instead of taking gym and pretended I didn't do that until security footage and another PE teacher confirmed I did. That was also a woman (savior gym teacher was a man in this case).

I feel so bad for this girl. Her teacher is a horrid piece of shit, her friends are good and brave people (way to go, girl who stepped between them to stop the dragging! Good filming timing, other kid!), and she's brave as shit for screaming and making a scene and trying to fight back. I know #notallPEteachers, btw. As I said, one was responsible for helping me escape the wrath of the disability-denier and I had another particularly great dude closer to our age group teaching Kinetic Wellness/Health who rocked. Just man....seems like lots of assholes are attracted to that job as well as people who genuinely care about kids and health. In my anecdotal case, all the decent ones I had were people who studied PE in school and always wanted to teach kids about health and weren't on a weird power trip.