Substitute Teacher Allegedly Left Illinois Student With Black Eye And Broken Finger
"I'm really scared right now because my teacher hit me in the face," 14-year-old Brandon Cole said of the sub, who has reportedly been arrested.
by Nick Fenley
October 27, 2022 at 5:50 pm
The incident went down earlier this week at Jack Benny Middle School in Waukegan, Illinois.
According to 14-year-old Brandon Cole, everything started when he and a fellow student became engaged in a back-and-forth.
A substitute then intervened, though — rather than deescalating the argument as one would expect — they appear to have actually made things worse by allegedly punching Cole and fracturing one of his fingers.
“I’m really scared right now because my teacher hit me in the face,” the student shared, CBS Chicago reports. “Broke my finger, bruised my face.”
A student at Jack Benny Middle School in Waukegan says a substitute teacher punched him in the face and broke his finger while he was having an argument with another student. https://t.co/Ia8NBChSuv
— Lake & McHenry County Scanner (@LMCScanner) October 26, 2022
“They’re not only not protecting students – but now they’re actually battering and abusing them,” Kevin O’Connor, an attorney who’s representing the family, said, CBS Chicago reports.
“Instead of the teacher breaking it up, the teacher escalated it and ended up punching and assaulting him,” O’Connor proceeded to add, according to the Lake and McHenry County Scanner.
The teen’s mother, Natasha Cade, spoke on the ordeal during a school board meeting on Tuesday night.
“Look at his face and tell me how you act — how should I feel?” Cade inquired, according to CBS Chicago.
— CBS Chicago (@cbschicago) October 26, 2022
In response, many board members spoke out about the altercation with firm outrage.
“Either we’re going to have zero-tolerance policy, or we’re not. Either it’s OK to put our hands on kids, or it’s not,” Waukegan School Board President Brandon Ewing pointed out, CBS Chicago reports.
“I’m going to go hydrogen bomb,” school board member Anita Hanna added, according to the outlet.
Superintendent Theresa Plascencia spoke to Brandon directly, saying, “Whatever we can do to support you, we are going to be here for you. Whatever happened today — regardless of anything — no one ever has the right to put their hands on you.”
In a separate statement, WGN9 reports that Plascencia added, “Rest assured that the employee in question will not be working in our schools in the future. As investigations by outside authorities are ongoing, we are not in a position to publicly discuss details of the altercation. I can assure you that the safety and security of our students has been and continues to be our top priority.”
The outlet also notes that the substitute teacher in question was arrested on Tuesday.
The Waukegan Police Department does not appear to have addressed the matter on social media at this time.