PRINCETON, Minn. — A gym teacher at a Minnesota school was captured on surveillance video throwing a hockey stick at a second-grade student’s face.
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According to his mother, Easton Johnson, 8, now says he is scared to return to Princeton Primary School in the fall following the incident that knocked his front tooth loose, WCCO reported.
Surveillance video of the March 28 incident shows students picking up hockey sticks at the end of gym class, and Easton Johnson can be seen gently tossing his stick onto the pile.
Teacher Kim Neubauer is then seen picking up the boy’s stick and hurling it directly at Easton Johnson’s face. The child is seen immediately covering his face with his hands, and Neubauer appears to scold him as he picked up his stick again to try and return it to the pile. Instead, he turned around to run out of the gym, KNSI reported.
Easton Johnson’s mother, Jodi Johnson, told WCCO she is finally speaking out because she feels that the school district did not adequately address the assault.
“They would just say that it was a bad reaction the teacher had, and I just have a hard time swallowing that that’s how they feel,” Jodi Johnson told the TV station.
“With the force of the stick, it hit the upper part of (Easton’s) mouth, and it did knock a tooth out,” she added, confirming that her son fortunately lost only a baby tooth, but the stick’s impact busted the child’s lip and significantly damaged his gum and the lost tooth’s root.
Ben Barton, superintendent of Princeton Public Schools, confirmed to KMSP-TV that the teacher was placed on administrative leave immediately following the incident. The district has since accepted her resignation, the TV station reported.
The Minnesota Department of Education sent the Johnson family a letter admitting Easton was subject to maltreatment, and the Princeton Police Department is weighing whether to investigate or press charges, KNSI reported.
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