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An unidentified male Los Alamos High School student is charged with battery on a school employee after reportedly shoving a teacher.
According to a Los Alamos Police Department incident report written by School Resource Officer Jordan Redmond, at 11:46 a.m. March 22, school administration called for help with a teacher dealing with a “belligerent” student.
The administration alleged that there had been an incident in the commons areas of the A wing, in which a student pushed math teacher Joy Handsberry after she confronted the student regarding his behavior.
The report states that Handsberry alleged the student was muttering profanities and she confronted him about his language, stating that he could not use language like that in school and that he would need to go to the administrative office with her.
Handsberry alleges that the student refused to comply with her request, uttering expletives a few more times. The student also refused to give Handsberry his name and began moving toward the exit, at which point she “ ‘hooked her index finger over the top front of his jacket and tugged him toward the office,’ insisting they had to go to the office. He then turned and pushed her away.”
Redmond reached both the student and his mother at their residence later that same day. According to the student’s account of the incident, he didn’t know the person talking to him was a teacher and was troubled by her staring at him across the commons area.
“Not knowing why this person was staring at him, he said, ‘Why the … are you looking at me?’ ” the report states.
The report further states that the student thought perhaps another student “messing with him,” which is why he refused to give the person his name or go with them to the office.
The student’s mother asked him if he felt threatened by the person or that the person was trying to kidnap him. The student said that he did feel somewhat intimidated by the person because they had been calling him “hon” and asking for his name, which is why was “creeped out.” The student said he felt a need to run from the person.
He said as he was trying to get away from the person, he realized she was a teacher because she spoke with another teacher and asked her to call security.
On March 26, Redmond interviewed a student witness in the incident. The student alleges that while he didn’t see how the incident began, he heard Handsberry tell the student that she was a teacher and that she needed to take him to the office.
The witness then alleges that he saw Handsberry grab the student’s jacket, at which point the student pushed her. When Redmond asked how the witness knew the person talking to the other student was teacher, “he looked at me confused and said, ‘She’s old, of course she’s a teacher.’ ”
The incident report also references a March 27 letter from the school’s principal Sandy Warnock. The report states the letter defended Handsberry’s handling of the incident, as teachers are expected to address student behavior while they are in school and “that she was doing her job appropriately.”
The report also states that Warnock wrote in the letter that students are expected to not use profanity while in school as part of the code of conduct.
According to Los Alamos Public School Superintendent Gene Schmidt, Handsberry was acting under school policy rules and regulations when she grabbed the student with her index finger. Schmidt declined to comment further on the incident, stating it was a personnel matter and the student had a right to privacy.
The incident report states that Redmond’s investigation shows that since Handsberry was doing her job and the student rudely pushed her out of anger, the student did batter the teacher.
No arrest was made.
State law indicates that the student may face a fourth degree felony charge if found guilty of battery on a school employee.
|LAHS Alleged Battery Incident.pdf||59.68 KB|