NORTH ST. LOUIS (KMOV.com) -- The Hazelwood School District is investigating an apparent assault of a teacher by a student that was caught on camera Friday morning at Hazelwood East High School.
Parents and grandparents who were picking up students after school were concerned to hear the news.
"It's uh, something that's really disturbing,” said Jay Thompson whose grandson is a student at the high school.
St. Louis County police said they took a 16-year-old student into custody shortly before 7 a.m. Friday before turning him over to Family Services.
In a video recorded on a cellphone, the student walks up to the teacher who is sitting at the desk in front of the room. According to school officials, the teacher made a phone call in an attempt to de-escalate the situation.
"The teacher tried to reach out to the parent but was unsuccessful. The parent was at work and could not deal with the situation at that time. So the student continued to escalate,” said Kimberly McKenzie with the Hazelwood School District.
In the video, the student could be seen moving closer to the teacher and slapping her with his left hand. He then walked to the doorway and tried to punch a school safety officer who had just arrived.
Police said the incident stemmed from a disagreement between the student and teacher before school began.
Hazelwood School District's full response to the incident can be read here:
The Hazelwood School District does not condone violence of any nature. The safety of our students, faculty, and staff is the district’s number one priority. The District at all times followed their policies and procedures, as well as state statutes. Parents are always contacted after an assault has occurred. Parents all always contacted at the first stages of behaviors that are contrary to the District’s Student Code of Conduct.
Most parents are responsive and cooperative; however, that is not always the case. Students who consistently exhibit troubling behavior are provided additional support at the Hazelwood Opportunity Center (Alternative Learning).
When an assault occurs on a staff member, the police are contacted. The student, if a juvenile, is usually taken into custody and taken to the Family Court. School Administrators cooperate fully with the police and juvenile authorities. This practice was followed in the case at hand.