A student at John F. Kennedy High School in Paterson, New Jersey was arrested by authorities on Friday for assaulting his 62 year-old teacher in the classroom.
The unnamed ninth-grader slammed his teacher in front of other students all because the educator confiscated his cellphone and he wanted it back. The attack, which took place at about 1 p.m. on Tuesday during a Physics class, was captured on video by somebody in the classroom, who uploaded this on YouTube.
The video, which has since gone viral since it was shared online, shows the 16-year old student wrapping his arms around the teacher and knocking him into a desk. He then wrestled the teacher before slamming him to the floor. The student only broke away after somebody in the classroom called security.
School officials confirmed that the student has been filed with criminal charges and is currently suspended.
JFK principal of operations David Cozart said that the incident happened after the teacher confiscated the assailant's phone from another student. Cozart said that while students can use their cellphones in the classroom for academic purposes, devices that are used by the students for other reasons may be taken away and returned at the end of the day.
District spokesperson Terry Corallo said that the student will still receive home instruction while on suspension. A disciplinary hearing will also be conducted to assess the appropriate educational placement for the student for the rest of the school year.
Paterson Education Association president Peter Tirri expressed his disappointment that none of the kids in the classroom attempted to help the teacher who did not also fight back.
"I'm disappointed I didn't see any other kids in the classroom help [the teacher] out," Tirri said. "Maybe they were afraid. I don't know."
Students can be heard in the 23-second video shouting "stop" and "chill" but no one attempted to physically stop the assailant from attacking the teacher, who has been working in the district since 2003.
Veteran school board member Jonathan Hodges expressed his disappointment saying that students today think that they can put their hand on each other and their teachers inside school. He also said that when he tried to find the video of the incident online, he also found other videos of teachers being attacked by students.
Fights are common in JFK but education officials said that the conditions at the school have improved in the past few years.