St. Paul teacher says he's 'kind of broken' after student attack


"I'm kind of broken right now."

That's what John Ekblad, the teacher who was assaulted by a student while trying to break up a fight a St. Paul Central High School earlier this month, said at a news conference regarding a potential lawsuit against the school district.

He's been a teacher at the school for 21 years and has frequently intervened in fights between students, according to the Pioneer Press. But recently, the level of violence has gotten worse, and his colleagues fear something similar could happen to them, FOX 9 reports.

Ekblad suffered a serious brain injury when witnesses say a 16-year-old student, who pleaded guilty to charges, slammed him into a concrete wall and a table. On Tuesday, Exblad told reporters he doesn't remember the incident, adding he has a constant headache and numbness on the right side, MPR News' Jon Collins

" target="_blank">tweeted.

He is seeking more than $50,000 in damages, the Pioneer Press says, but is requesting a mediated settlement instead of filing a lawsuit. Ekblad's attorneys allege the district was negligent "in failing to provide him with a workplace free of assaultive behavior and violence in general."

They also argue the district failed to properly safeguard its teachers and staff members, despite being aware of ongoing violence towards teachers within the St. Paul Public School District.

This was the 27th case Ramsey County has handled this year relating to students attacking school officials – a figure that’s almost double last year’s number. Following recent violent incidents in St. Paul schools, the district announced initiatives to help with the climate at the school and strategies to address violence.

District 'saddened' by the situation

St. Paul Public Schools issued a statement to BringMeTheNews regarding the potential lawsuit, saying the district is "extremely saddened by this situation" but it cannot comment about ongoing or potential lawsuits.

The statement continued: The district "does not and will not tolerate violence against anyone in the district," and discipline policies have "always specified severe consequences for students who jeopardize the safety of others and we do not shy away from enforcing these policies."

St. Paul Central was in the spotlight again this week after a student apparently sent threats over social media on Monday, the Pioneer Press reports. Police determined the threat wasn't credible and arrested the teenager on suspicion of terrorist threats.

The teenager did tell police he didn't have any intention of doing anything and the messages were supposed to be funny, the paper adds.

Next Up

Trevor May

Report: Trevor May leaving Twins to sign with Mets

The right-hander will sign a two-year deal to head to New York

Car crash

'Grim' milestone: Minnesota's traffic deaths reach 364, tying 2019 total

“With fewer vehicles on the road during the 2020 pandemic, the loss of life on Minnesota roads is beyond disappointing."

Devin Weiland

Charges: Albert Lea man, 21, fired around 90 shots at police, residents

Weiland was arrested after a standoff that lasted more than eight hours.

Body storage warehouse

Body storage warehouse 'ready if needed for COVID-19 fatality management'

The warehouse is currently storing PPE and testing supplies.


Signs come down at Giordano's restaurant in Uptown

It appears the restaurant has closed for good.

State Capitol.

Walz eyes COVID-19 relief package totaling $300-$600 million amid budget surplus

The state forecasted a budget surplus for the remainder of the biennium.

Bar beer

Walz non-committal on extension of restaurant, gym closures

He has suggested that the ban on mixing with people outside your household could continue over Christmas.

scratch lottery ticket

State lottery: Don't give scratch-offs as gifts to minors

The Minnesota Lottery participates in an annual responsible gambling campaign focusing on underage lottery play during the holidays.

Marijuana, cannabis

Minnesota adds 2 more qualifying conditions for medical marijuana

There will be 17 conditions that qualify people to obtain medical marijuana in Minnesota.

Matt Birk

Ex-Viking Matt Birk confirms interest in future run for governor

The next gubernatorial election in Minnesota is Nov. 8, 2022.

Screen Shot 2020-12-01 at 10.59.59 AM

Handsome Hog in St. Paul to close temporarily

Executive chef Justin Sutherland cited inaction by state and federal leaders during the COVID-19 pandemic.