For teachers, there is nothing more sacred than the space of a classroom. While the sanctuary of rooms are sometimes shattered by violence, it remains thankfully rare. That makes the video this week particularly disturbing as physics teacher at John F. Kennedy High School in Paterson, New Jersey is attacked by one of his students. The other students do not come to the aid of the 62-year-old physics teacher as he is thrown to the ground by a sixteen-year-old student, though one student eventually comes over to tell the attacker to break off the attack. The teacher had taken the teenager’s cellphone.
The student has been charged with assault and the case seems pretty clear from the videotape. The question is whether the teenager will be charged as an adult, which is likely given his age and the violent character of the alleged crime. While New Jersey juvenile courts have exclusive authority over all criminal defendants under the age of 18, prosecutors are allowed to petition for the transfer of minors over the age of 14 who are accused of certain violent offenses.
Here is the video: