SACRAMENTO - A Physical Science and P.E. teacher at McClatchy High School is fighting to return to his job despite being cleared of wrongdoing by an independent investigative board.
Jerry Glaviano was placed on unpaid administrative leave by the Sacramento City Unified School District in February for the steps he took trying to break up a fight between two students.
According to court records, Glaviano, a 27-year-employee at the school, punched a special education student in the mouth and bit him hard enough to leave a bloody wound.
However, Glaviano denies being the aggressor and says he was the victim.
"I had to bite him to get away and I wasn't able to get away too far," said Glaviano.
Glaviano said he was hit several times by the student and was forced to bite the student to break a hold the student had around his throat.
"He had his arm around my throat. He lifted me off the ground and if he wanted to, he is 6'2'' and 220 pounds and I am 5'7' 120 pounds; he could have thrown me onto the ground," said Glaviano
Glaviano says he didn't call for help because there was no time and he didn't have a walkie talkie on him. But the district says that's a violation of school rules.
In August, the Commission of Professional Competence, an independent investigative board comprised of two teachers from other districts and a state judge, was called upon to judge Glaviano's actions and ruled in the teacher's favor.
However, Glaviano has yet to be reinstated at McClatchy as the school district recently filed an appeal with the Sacramento Superior Court.
Attorney Gregory Wedner who represents the school district said they filed the appeal because they believe the board made the wrong decision.
"The reaction to the circumstances before him were not appropriate and not consistent with the way a district teacher should act," said Wedner.
A superior court judge is expected to hear the case in four to eight months. In the meantime, Glaviano remains on unpaid administrative leave.