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Police: St. Paul Central students attacked teacher and administrator

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In another incident of violence at a St. Paul school, police say a student at Central High School attacked a teacher last Friday, slamming his face against a wall and choking him until he passed out.

When an assistant principal came to the teacher's aid, another student attacked him as well, according to WCCO.

According to the police report, the teacher was trying to break up a fight in the lunch room when a 16-year-old male slammed the teacher up against the wall, then picked him up off his feet with a stranglehold and slammed him down on a table and then the floor. The teacher said he lost consciousness, the St. Paul Pioneer Press reports.

The assistant principal tried to help by pulling the student away from the teacher. But the boy's 15-year-old brother approached him, yelling profanities, and punched the assistant principal several times in the chest.

Police officers arrived and arrested both juveniles without incident, according to WCCO. They are both facing assault charges. The students also face discipline at school, possibly suspension or expulsion.

Neither of the two staff members were at school Monday, a district spokeswoman told the Pioneer Press.

Violence a concern in schools

A number of violent incidents have taken place in St. Paul schools this year, which has district leaders and staff concerned.

A student at Harding High School was arrested in late October for having a loaded gun in his backpack at school. During that same week, more than half a dozen fights broke out in several schools, including some brawls that involved dozens of students, the Pioneer Press reports.

The district doesn’t have current numbers for this school year yet on violent incidents, but officials said over the past five years, they have stayed about the same.

Superintendent Valeria Silva said in October she doesn’t plan to make any changes to existing discipline policies for students, but said administrators would provide more support and resources to school staff.

Coincidentally, the St. Paul School Board is asking its student advisory committee to ask pupils their opinions about the role of police officers in school buildings, KSTP reports.

Board Chair Mary Doran told the TV stations she isn't suggesting getting rid of the school resource officers, but thinks it's important to get students' views on police presence in school buildings in the wake of the fights in St. Paul schools and conflicts between police and students in other cities in the country. 

The school district contracts each year for nine officers to work in various school buildings. The cost of that contract is $854,000, according to KSTP.

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