Teacher struck by student at West Middle School

Teacher trying to break up fight sustains injuries, resulting in trip to emergency room

By Joe McGehee

Staff Writer

Thursday, Dec. 3, a teacher at Rockford’s West Middle School sustained injuries that required immediate medical attention after breaking up a fight between two students. Witnesses reported a smaller student was involved in an altercation with a larger student when the teacher intervened.

“A teacher was struck while trying to break up a fight between two students,” said Molly Phalen, president of the Rockford Education Association. “The teacher tried to intervene and stop the fight, but was beaten to the ground by the larger of the two students, which resulted in nerve damage to his upper abdomen.

“This student only received a three-day, out-of-school suspension for attacking a teacher,” Phalen added.

Before confirming the incident with Phalen, The Rock River Times spoke with two teachers who were only willing to comment about the incident on condition of anonymity for fear of retribution. When reached for comment at that time, Rockford Public School District 205 Chief Communications Officer Mark Bonne declined to respond, saying, “We are no longer going to make it our practice to respond to anonymous allegations.” Bonne said he would only reply to allegations if TRRT could provide the name of the individual or individuals making the allegations.

After confirming the incident with Phalen, several calls for Bonne to comment about Phalen’s statement went unreturned.

Since all communications with Rockford Public School District 205 employees and administrators are directed through Bonne, no one else was made available to TRRT for further comment about this incident.

From the Dec. 9-15, 2009 issue

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