GWINNETT COUNTY, Ga — Gwinnett County School’s superintendent Dr. Calvin J. Watts has responded after a cellphone video shared with Channel 2 Action News earlier this week showed a teacher being repeatedly punched inside a Gwinnett County classroom.
The attack happened just before 11a.m. Tuesday at Discovery High School in Lawrenceville. Watts says the attack was unacceptable and something he doesn’t ever want to see in the district.
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“To be clear, what happened at Discovery High yesterday is unacceptable. I want to reassure you we are taking this situation seriously. Using physical violence to attack students and/or staff will not be tolerated in Gwinnett County Public Schools. It is not only against our district disciplinary policy; it is against the law,” Watts said in a statement to school parents and guardians. “The student who attacked the teacher is facing criminal charges and school disciplinary consequences. I wish the teacher who was attacked a speedy recovery, and I fully support him and his response in the strongest terms possible.”
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On Monday, the teacher who was hit spoke with the parents of the student who punched him about his poor performance in class, according to the teacher’s wife.
The next day, that teacher was beaten in his English classroom.
“It left him with a bloodied mouth and head injuries along with a feeling of dizziness,” The teacher’s wife said to Channel 2′s Bureau Chief Matt Johnson.
“I don’t think people should have the crap beat out of them when they go to work,” she said, asking to remain anonymous. “I just want the students and the teachers to be safe, because my husband signed up to be a teacher. He loves his job.”
Watts says the Discovery High School leadership team is also investigating the event. The team will decide what disciplinary consequences are necessary and appropriate for students who helped plan and or recorded the attack and attempted to upload it online.
Watts thanked any students who stepped in and stopped the student from attacking the teacher.
The attack is the latest in a series of violent incidents in Gwinnett County Schools.
A 17-year-old was shot and killed just steps from Norcross High School during school hours in October.
A student opened fire minutes after dismissal outside Shiloh High School, also in October.
A student was sliced with a box cutter just days later at Grayson High School.
Parents and teachers publicly criticized changes to the district’s discipline policy, even before many of the recent incidents.
District leaders said in November they are now considering changes to the policy.
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