A video that shows a teacher beaten by a student has been shared widely on the internet and has gained attention from officials around the city who have made statements condemning the attack.
In the video, which was taken by a student, the teacher is repeatedly punched in the head and falls to the ground during the attack.
Milwaukee Aldermen Bob Donovan and Terry Witkowski both released statements advocating for expulsion and criminal charges for the student.
Donovan called the attack “shocking and disgusting” in a news release, and said that the situation needs to be dealt with effectively, alluding to criminal charges.
Witkowski emphasized that schools should be a safe haven for all teachers and school staff.
“Sadly, the violence captured on the video did not just germinate out of thin air – it was behavior likely learned, seen and experienced close to home,” the statement said.
Reggie Moore, the city’s director of the Office of Violence Prevention, took to Facebook and said children generally become “numb” to witnessing violence the more they are around it.
He said that the students who stood around quietly or laughed as the student punched the teacher are all typical responses depending on each individual’s exposure to trauma.
He also expressed his respect for teachers saying they “wake up every day to give children in our city a chance.”
The incident will be reviewed by the Milwaukee County District Attorney’s Office for a possible charge of battery to a school district official, police said.
According to police, the South Division High School teacher suffered injuries that are not life-threatening when he was punched in the head several times by the 16-year-old male student.
Milwaukee Public Schools said in a statement to the Journal Sentinel that students who violate the code of conduct face disciplinary action, which includes expulsion, though they are not able to comment on this specific incident as they conduct their own internal investigation.