Waukegan substitute teacher arrested, fired after alleged physical altercation with student | #teacher | #children | #kids


WAUKEGAN, Ill — A substitute teacher in Waukegan was arrested and fired after an alleged physical altercation with a student in a classroom.

The Chicago Tribune reports the teacher was arrested Tuesday and more details about the incident are expected to be provided by police Wednesday.

Lawyers for 14-year-old Brandon Cole said the altercation happened during his science class at Jack Benny Middle School, located at 1401 Montesano Avenue.

His attorneys said Brandon got into a verbal altercation with another student, when the substitute teacher stepped in and hit the teen.

The superintendent of Waukegan School District 60 released a statement confirming the altercation took place at the school, calling it completely unacceptable.

The full statement reads:

Dear Families and Staff,

Earlier today there was an incident inside a Jack Benny Middle School classroom involving a physical altercation between a student and substitute staff member. Let me begin by saying that this type of behavior by any trusted adult in one of our schools is completely unacceptable, and any staff conduct that compromises the safety and well-being of students has not and will not be tolerated.

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.

We know an incident like this can be disturbing. I am feeling the same emotions many of you may be experiencing. Our school staff are entrusted by parents to teach, mentor and protect their children. This action is a blatant breach of that trust, and I’m truly sorry that this unfortunate incident took place. For our students who need support, mental health support staff will continue to be available at Jack Benny. 

Theresa Plascencia, Superintendent

During a press conference Tuesday night, Brandon held his hand up to show his bruises that could also be seen on his face, as well as other parts of his body.

The teen’s mother, Natasha Cole, spoke during the press conference and expressed the fear of Brandon returning to school.

“I don’t know whether to feel angry, confused, hurt. I don’t know. It’s not a thought I would ever think would ever happen to my son, or any of my children,” Cole said.

In the meantime, the superintendent said the substitute teacher will not be allowed to teach in Dist. 60 again.



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