15-Year-Old Who Beat Teacher for Confiscating Phone Gets Bad News from the Judge

The teen behind the savage beating of a teacher that was caught on camera will have a year in detention to think about it — and it was all over a silly smartphone. According to a report from WAGA-TV in Atlanta on Wednesday, the unnamed 15-year-old girl featured in a brutal video out of Rockdale County, Georgia, pleaded guilty to aggravated battery after a Jan. 26 altercation that left her British literature teacher unable to return to the classroom. An assistant district attorney in Rockdale County said the girl would spend five years on supervised release after her year in a youth detention center. The attack occurred at Heritage High School in Conyers, Georgia, after teacher Tiwana Turner tried to confiscate the girl’s phone. “These cellphones, they’re able to bring them to school. It’s becoming a huge issue. This is like their livelihood,” Turner told WAGA. “You take it away, some of them go berserk.” In this case, what happened next was caught by what appeared to be another cellphone camera.

WARNING: The following video contains graphic violence that some viewers may find disturbing.

“She just went off and pulled me down to the floor,” said Turner, whose leg was broken in the incident. “I was in the hospital six days, and the numbness was there all six days,” she said. Turner, who is president of the Georgia Federation of Teachers, has been unable to return to the classroom. “I can’t go to work. I can’t see my students. I can’t do anything that I used to do. I can’t drive,” she told WAGA, adding she needs crutches and a walker to get around.
Previously, she’d told the station that this is hardly unique behavior — and that both students and parents bear some of the blame for assaults on teachers. “When we search the web and just Google ‘student assaults on teachers,’ we’ll see numerous assaults across the country, and this is driving teachers out of the classroom,” Turner said in a January interview. “The number one problem in the classroom to attracting and retaining teachers happens to be the environment and right under that — when we talk about environment — discipline problems,” she said. “We are in a state of emergency … in this country, in this city, in this state, we are in a state of emergency” in the classroom, Turner said, “and right now we need zero tolerance.” While “zero tolerance” policies in public schools hardly ever work out how they’re supposed to, there’s no denying that this is a serious issue. Turner’s assault wasn’t even the only student-on-teacher attack to go viral so far this year; in Florida, a very large student was caught on security camera knocking down a teacher and stomping and punching her, allegedly after she took his Nintendo Switch away: If “zero tolerance” isn’t the answer, though, neither is shrugging this off as a side-effect of our smartphone-addicted culture. In this case, the 15-year-old in question has a year behind bars to think about it and five years of supervised release to prove she’s learned her lesson. However, there should have been someone there to teach her that lesson before the penal system was forced to intervene. Moral guidance from interested parents — notice the plural — is essential if we’re going to see any kind of a turn for the better. This hardly happened in isolation, after all. And rest assured, it’ll happen again — probably before Turner can even return to the classroom. This article appeared originally on The Western Journal.

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