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Charges: Teens gave Como Park teacher a concussion in hallway attack


Two teenage boys have been charged over the attack on a teacher at Como Park Senior High School on Wednesday.

The Pioneer Press reports the two 16-year-olds face third-degree assault charges, with a juvenile petition stating they punched teacher Mark Rawlings in the chin and eye before throwing him to the ground.

It followed a "fracas" that started when the 48-year-old technology teacher asked the boys to leave after they entered his classroom, with the teacher telling police he "lightly touched" the teenagers as he attempted to "gently escort them out of the classroom."

The alleged assault was captured on camera by another student after the altercation spilled out into the hallway, with the video then shared on social media.

The Star Tribune reports Rawlings suffered a concussion following the attack and needed staples to close a head wound.

The school's assistant principal meanwhile told police they found out the boys had entered the classroom with the intention of assaulting another student "over a marijuana transaction gone bad," according to the newspaper.

Violence against teachers has been a growing issue in St. Paul schools. There was a spike of attacks in the school district this past October, with six of them happening at Como Park Senior High in the space of just three days.

In December, union leaders for St. Paul teachers threatened to call a strike over concerns for teacher safety, which followed the assault of teacher John Ekblad at Central High School, who suffered brain injuries in the assault.

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