A Syracuse student is under arrest, accused of stabbing a teacher with a pen. Now that teacher is telling Time Warner Cable News exclusively about the incident. And as our Candace Hopkins reports, how he feels the district can get a better handle on disciplinary situations like this one.
SYRACUSE, N.Y.-- "You need to be a social worker, you need to be a dad, and don't forget, at the same time you need to be a teacher," said Christian Suarez.
Lincoln Middle School Teacher Christian Suarez says educators have to wear a lot of hats these days. They're are doing more with less resources, and some say as services are cut, disciplinary problems increase. Tuesday Suarez came face to face with those problems.
"By the time I turned around, the student was already trying to stop me with a pen, I didn't know what was going on, I just knew that I was being poked with something," said Suarez.
A 12-year-old female student is accused of stabbing him with that pen. The attack happened while Suarez, a special education teacher, was filling in as Assistant Principal. It left him with a deep scratch across his stomach and smaller wounds on his wrists. The police were called immediately, and the student was charged with assault and criminal possession of a weapon.
"It was difficult to see this young person being arrested but at the same time it was needed at that point, it went beyond a suspension, it went beyond that, the child tried to do harm, on another human being," said Suarez.
Now Suarez is speaking out in hopes of drawing attention to the behavior issues the district is facing. He says a lot of them stem from a lack of parental involvement. And he thinks the district could better control the situation with additional staff focusing solely on these issues.
"We do need a person to help out with discipline in a lot of problems in a lot of the buildings, would that have stopped what happened yesterday, absolutely not, but knowing there's a third body or a fourth body to deal with discipline, that would make the teachers and the students feel, something will happen if students misbehave, something will happen if someone gets hurt," said Suarez.
Suarez was not seriously hurt, but was told his wound would have been a lot worse if he hadn't been wearing a thick polo shirt. He says one good thing to come out of this incident is that Superintendent Sharon Contreras immediately called to check on him, and she says find a way to dedicate more staff to these issues is a priority for her.