By Tony Snyder | February 22, 2012
Have you seen this article yet? Here’s the quick and dirty:
Two high school boys were in a fight on school property. A female teacher sees the fight, verbally attempts to break up the fight, when she’s unsuccessful she pours her hot tea on the two boys. She warned them she’d do it, apparently they didn’t hear or didn’t believe her. Now one of the boys has filed an assault complaint with the local authorities and the school has placed the teacher on temporary leave.
Under Michigan law (and I’m paraphrasing), an assault is any harmful touching which isn’t consented to and isn’t appropriate for the safety and well being of the person doing the assaulting, nor being done to protect someone else. Ok, so the question really becomes: Was this action harmful with no other method available to provide protection?
This is a great issue to take to a jury. One the one hand, if I’m the attorney for the teacher I’m going to argue that kids are bringing guns to school, the fight was between an 18 year old and a 15 year old (as opposed to two students of the same age), teachers have a duty to keep our children safe, who knows what sort of injury could have occurred if it continued to escalate, etc etc.
On the other hand, if I”m the attorney for the 15 year old boy I would contend that there are numerous other ways to break up a fight, including but not limited to getting a male teacher, letting the boys fight to the death (well, not ALL of them will be good options), that hot tea is NOT the best way to achieve the desired outcome, serious injury could have occurred to both the boys, shouldn’t teachers have better judgment than high school boys…you get the point.
So what do you think? Was the teacher justified to take the actions she did or did it go to far? You by the judge!