A physical education teacher has been slapped with a criminal charge of giving “corporal injury to a child” after a disturbing video of his violent tactics went viral on YouTube on Friday.
It is alleged that Denny Peterson, who works for the Stockton Unified School District, used excessive force on a 14-year-old female student, who refused to participate in his class and would not get into a pool back in August, according to CNN affiliate KXTV, which first reported the story.
The incident—captured on camera by another student took place in Edison High School—a magnet school heavily focused on engineering and computer science programs. So far, there have been no disciplinary action against the student recording as we’ve seen in the past, nor attempts to force the student to delete the footage.
According to the teen’s attorney Gilbert Somera, the fact that his client did not want to enter the pool because she had her hair done for an event that evening, gives Peterson no right to physically force her to participate.
“Regardless of her participation (in the class) it should disgust you how this man put his hands on a 14-year-old girl. She said multiple times, ‘My top is falling down,'” Somera told KXTV. Somera said he did not understand why Peterson did not punish his client academically instead of resulting to putting his hands on her repeatedly and dragging her on the floor to the pool.
Calls and emails made by PINAC to Somera and his law firm —The Somera Law Group—in regards to the incident were not returned.
Peterson has been employed by the Stockton Unified School District in Stockton, Calif. for the last 10 years. USA Today reports that after the incident took place he was placed on paid leave for 30 days, only to be brought back and assigned to another school. It was not until Thursday that the Stockton Unified School District placed Peterson on leave again upon learning via KXTV of the charge he is currently facing. Peterson, reportedly has a claim in the works of his own, and will possibly be filing a lawsuit in regards to the incident.
PINAC attempted to reach Edison High School’s principal Brian Biedermann for comment. Attempts have failed.
The Stockton Unified School District did respond to comments on the case and said in a public statement that it “SUSD has taken appropriate action in this case.”
“The teacher has been placed on paid administrative leave per district policy.”
Peterson’s incident is just another case making headlines stemming out of Edison High School. Back in May police officials named the suspect in a local shooting involving a student that shook up the town. Yet, other administrators at Edison High School found the allegations made by the cops “a shock” and question the police authority’s leads in the case.
Mendoza, 23, was allegedly shot and killed by a stray bullet. In January in 2012 the drive-by shooting of 16-year-old Alejandro Vizcarra also made waves throughout local media reports. Police officers investigating the scene of the crime deemed it a gang-related altercation.