Your kid goes to school each day and you think he's being taken care of -- looked after, fed okay (try not to laugh), taught some things. Sometimes your kid may even get into a fight with his classmate. Not the scenario we want to envision, but these things happen on occasion. Also once in a great while, we hear about a kid getting into a fight with his teacher. And no matter who "wins" this fight, both kind of end up losing.
John Webster, a 27-year-old, 220-pound New York City gym teacher, claims he's humiliated by the incident he had with Rodrigo Carpio, a 4-foot-2, 50-pound kindergartner. Carpio allegedly had a temper tantrum and physically lashed out at Webster, which resulted in a fractured ankle, a knee injury, and lingering stress that makes it hard for him to work.
We can laugh at the fact that a full grown man was beat up by a child, but what was the teacher supposed to do? Fight back? That's a scenario I don't want to think about. Now there's a lawsuit, and I'm conflicted.
Webster, who played football in college, looks fit -- he is a gym teacher. And I have to commend him for his restraint when being attacked by Carpio. Some people just react to violence with violence, yet this teacher kept his cool. "I tried to hold his wrists, and he began biting me," Webster told the Post. "I took him to the principal’s office, and he kicked me in the ankle, and one kick landed right on my knee. I felt a pop." He now has to wear braces on both knees.
Maybe letting your kid take karate lessons isn't such a great idea.
If you need to see photos of the teacher and child to wrap your mind about it better, the New York Post has them here. I'll wait for you to return, of course.
I'm trying to put myself in the parents' shoes. A teacher is going public with this lawsuit saying their child beat him up. Not exactly something you want out there about your 6-year-old. This stuff lives on the Internet forever. This could shape how Carpio is perceived by other kids over the years and could do damage to how he views himself. That is just as damaging (if not more damaging) than a knee and ankle injury. The teacher didn't deserve that, either. But these things just happen sometimes. I've gotten a black eye from my toddler just from being hit accidentally by a sippy cup. Kids are kids. The teacher was ordered to get back to work. Carpio went back to school but was put on medication for his violent behavior. Which also saddens me.
Webster does deserve support from the city -- it did happen while he was at work. This should also be taken seriously by the Board of Education. Back in 1995, there was a teacher, 51-year-old Nedra Morris, who tragically died after being struck in the chest by her 9-year-old student.
But I can't help but be more worried about the long-term effects this is going to have on the child, Rodrigo Carpio.
What do you think of this story? Should the teacher sue? How will this affect the child, long term?
Image via stevendepolo/Flickr