SPANISH LAKE, Mo. – A Hazelwood East High School student was arrested Friday morning, accused of slapping his teacher. The incident happened in a classroom with other students present and at least one student recorded the incident with their cellphone camera.
“Behavior that we saw today, it’s simply unacceptable,” said Ross Green, Public Relations Specialist with the Hazelwood School District.
Video taken inside the classroom, shows a 16-year-old boy standing at the front of the classroom and in front of a female teacher’s desk. According to the district, the teacher took steps to de-escalate the situation by calling the student’s mother.
Instead, the student swings his left arm, slapping the teacher in the face.
“Any incident that might involve violence from a student, we take seriously, we investigate immediately, and we work with any responding law enforcement who might be handling that situation,” Green said.
Kimberly McKenzie, Director of Communications and Public Relations for Hazelwood School District, said each high school in the Hazelwood School District has two St. Louis County Police Department school resource officers on-site, along with additional school security officers.
A school security officer arrived moments after the incident and stopped the student as he tried to leave the room. In the cellphone video, the student can be seen struggling with the officer.
A school resource officer took the student into custody and he was transferred to family court.
The district said all policies and procedures were followed and parents were notified shortly after the incident.
Police said neither the teacher nor the security officer requested medical attention. The district said the teacher left school after the incident.
The district said it is offering the teacher and students who may be upset over Friday’s incident counseling and resources to help them feel safe when they return to school.
The student’s future in the Hazelwood School district will be decided based on the outcome of the police investigation and in accordance with the district’s code of conduct.
Hazelwood School District issued the following statement after the incident:
“The Hazelwood School District does not condone violence of any nature. The safety of our students, faculty, and staff is the District’s number one priority.
“The District at all times followed their policies and procedures, as well as state statutes. Parents are always contacted after an assault has occurred. Parents are always contacted at the first stages of behaviors that are contrary to the District’s Student Code of Conduct.
“Most parents are responsive and cooperative; however, that is not always the case.
“Students who consistently exhibit troubling behavior are provided additional support at the Hazelwood Opportunity Center (Alternative Learning).
“When an assault occurs on a staff member, the police are contacted. The student, if a juvenile, is usually taken into custody and taken to the Family Court. School Administrators cooperate fully with the police and juvenile authorities. This practice was followed in the case at hand.”