A 13-year-old Golden Gate Middle School student was charged Tuesday after deputies said he attacked a teacher in a classroom.
The child was charged with battery on a public or private education employee, a felony, and disruption of school function, a misdemeanor.
According to the Collier County Sheriff’s Office, the student became disruptive in class when the teacher took a pair of scissors from him. The student had been using the scissors to sharpen a pencil. He started to cry, so the teacher began to hand him a pass to leave class to visit a counselor.
When she placed her hands on his desk to give him the note, the student tore the pass and stabbed her hand with a mechanical pencil. The student then struck the teacher in the back of the head with a backpack as she requested assistance in removing him from the classroom.
After requesting help, the teacher was able to usher the other students in the classroom to a safe space, deputies said.
The teacher received superficial injuries to her hand and a bruise to the back of her head for which she sought medical treatment. The student was taken into custody.
Golden Gate Middle School principal Dr. Jennifer Knutowski sent the following message to parents after the incident, which read in part:
Hello Golden Gate Middle School parents,
Today, an incident occurred in one of our science classrooms. GGM administration and the Collier County Sheriff’s Office promptly responded. A student was removed from the classroom and arrested by deputies on charges of battery on a public or private education employee and disruption of a school function. Safety is our number one priority, and we will continue to take measures to keep our students and staff safe.
WINK News spoke to Dr. Laura Streyffeler, a therapist, who said, “As far as kids witnessing it, I think it’s an important conversation for parents to have with their kids, for kids to have with each other.”
Streyffeler created a violence intervention program for teens. She said that the act of violence brings about a lot of questions.
“Is it a random act of violence? Could it have been any teacher? Was there something going on with this kid and this teacher?” she posited. “Was the child upset about something else? Was this something going on at home?”