A Haywood High School student has been expelled after a teacher’s hair was lit on fire Friday morning.
A teacher was monitoring the back of a classroom after a stink bomb was set off in class when a student used a lighter to light her hair on fire, according to a Brownsville Police Department report.
“The teacher went over to a group of students. When she turned away, I think the student took a lighter and it got the back of her hair,” Haywood County Schools Superintendent Joey Hassell said.
The teacher reported that some students in the back of the classroom “got in her face and [asked] her (why you checking out the black kids),” according to the police report.
As the teacher walked away, a teacher assistant alerted her that her hair was on fire and the teacher patted her hair to extinguish the flames, according to the report. Assistant Principal Alex Aikens and Officer Anthony Jones investigated the back row of the classroom where the incident took place, locating a black cigarette lighter.
Jones took three students to the office for interview while Aikens and co-Assistant Principal Steven Hoofkin spoke with the rest of the class, the report states. One student was charged with aggravated assault after two students in the classroom helped identify them as the assailant, according to the report.
The incident was entered into the school’s disciplinary system at around 10:45 a.m., according to Hassell. The student’s disciplinary hearing will be held within the next week.
“The school deems that it was a level five offense, which is 180 days where the student has been expelled, but we’ll have an upcoming disciplinary hearing authority appeal,” Hassell said Monday.
The teacher, who Hassell has not identified, returned to school Monday morning. Hassell said she did not require medical attention after the incident.
Hassell said this was an isolated incident with a single student toward the teacher.
“We just will not tolerate that behavior,” Hassell said. “Obviously, we want to ensure that everyone has due process and that we’re fair in the process, but we expect appropriate behavior from our students and we will ensure that we protect our staff.”
Reach Cassandra Stephenson at firstname.lastname@example.org or at (731) 694-7261.
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