Fistfight between Stockton high school teacher and student captured on cellphone camera
STOCKTON, CA - A classroom fistfight between a freshman student and her math teacher has the Stockton Unified School District not only investigating but examining its overall school security measures.
STORY: Fight between Stockton high school teacher and student investigated
In an exclusive News10 interview, Cesar Chavez High School student Marlina Martinez said she was putting her make-up on in class when her math teacher confiscated her compact. Martinez said she called her mother and gave her cellphone to the teacher, saying her mother demanded she give Martinez back her belongings. The teacher allegedly confiscated the cellphone too and that's when the situation escalated from shouting to throwing punches.
The incident was recorded on another student's cellphone.
Martinez was arrested for assault, but said she wishes to file charges against her teacher and is contemplating a lawsuit.
The teacher has not been charged with any crime.
On Wednesday, other teachers came forward in her defense.
"I really felt this teacher was afraid to turn her back on this student to go get help," said a substitute teacher at the high school who did not want to be identified.
"I had a student last week who snuck in another student from a different campus into the classroom. The student didn't have ID and I could tell he was fibbing," the substitute teacher continued."
The substitute teacher said she doesn't hesitate to call campus security. In the district's high school classrooms, there is a "panic" button teachers can push to call the school district police officer or campus security monitors.
Some teachers said the buttons don't always work.
"I've been in situations where not every classroom has a button that works," said the substitute teacher.
"If you have 30 or more kids in a classroom, sometimes they make it so that you couldn't get to the panic button in a quick manner," said Chavez High School special education teacher Diana Buettner.
Special education teachers are required to go through continuous training in classroom management and how to effectively restrain physically aggressive students. The district said it offers the training to regular education teachers and the teachers can always request additional training from the schools.
"If you're not trained, there's a fight or flight adrenaline rush that happens and I don't know what happened in this case," said Buettner.
Teachers also said they would like the schools to enforce the requirement that students always wear their ID badges.
The district said suspensions at the schools are down 55 percent since last year.
"I have not heard of an incident that spiraled like this out of control," said Stockton Unified spokesperson Dianne Barth.
"There are management strategies you're expected to use and in an event like this, obviously we're going to offer refresher training."
Martinez's teacher was placed on paid administrative leave while the school district investigates the incident. Martinez was suspended for five days. There will be a hearing to determine if she will be expelled from school.