ST. PAUL, Minn. (AP) - A teacher who was assaulted by a student at a St. Paul high school plans to sue the school district, saying Tuesday he wants to send a message that district officials should not tolerate violence.
Central High School teacher John Ekblad says he suffered a traumatic brain injury Dec. 4 while trying to break up a fight. A 16-year-old student, who’s accused of slamming Ekblad against a wall, choking him and then slamming him onto the floor, pleaded guilty Friday to felony assault against Ekblad.
“I’m kind of broken right now,” Ekblad told reporters Tuesday. “I’d like to get healed - and I’d like to return to my job.”
Police estimated that Ekblad was unconscious for between 10 and 20 seconds, according to charges filed against the student following the assault, Minnesota Public Radio News (https://bit.ly/1mg1rcU ) reported.
Ekblad said he still suffers from headaches and vision problems as a result of the attack. He said he’s had to return to the hospital numerous times and is unable to work.
“I’ve got numbness in my right arm. I’ve got numbness going outside my right leg to the top of my foot. I have hearing loss in my right ear. My right eyelid has drooped down,” Ekblad said.
Ekblad’s attorney, Philip Villaume, served the lawsuit this week against the school district. He said the school district’s leaders have failed to provide a safe environment for staff and students.
“One of the purposes of Mr. Ekblad’s actions is to put a stop to students assaulting teachers, administrators, professional staff and other students,” Villaume said.
In a statement Tuesday, St. Paul Public Schools said the district does not tolerate violence.
“Our discipline policies have always specified severe consequences for students who jeopardize the safety of others and we do not shy away from enforcing these policies,” the district said.
Information from: Minnesota Public Radio News, https://www.mprnews.org
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