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February Has Been a Violent Month in Schools

February Has Been a Violent Month in Schools


What’s up with February? Violence is brewing in our schools, and it seems to be coming to a head this month. Here’s a brief summary of the terrible things that happened in schools in the last few weeks.

January 12th: 68-year-old janitor beaten by naked student

An Aldine ISD (Harris County, Texas) student is facing charges after administrators say he brutally beat a janitor at Eisenhower High School. At 10 A.M. on a regular school day, Simon Galvez, a high school janitor, had a naked student approach him outside of the school building. He thought the student needed help, and he asked Galvez to let him into the school building. When Galvez said no, the naked student, who appeared to be under the influence, grabbed him and started punching him. The 68-year-old janitor could barely defend himself. According to Galvez, “After the last blow, he started to choke me. He put both hands around my neck,” so he played dead to survive the attack. “He came over to look at me on the ground and thought he’d done it. He thought I was dead,” Simon Galvez said. The student was arrested by the Aldine ISD Police and was charged with assault of a public servant.

February 4th: 73-year-old Alfred Jimenez killed by student

73-year-old instructional assistant Alfred Jimenez attempted to redirect a student in class. An altercation ensued, and Jimenez fell to the floor, suffering blunt-force trauma. His death is being ruled as a homicide. The Northside American Federation of Teachers says Texas politicians are to blame for this incident. They blame inadequate staffing levels for all student support staff, especially those who support students in their self-contained special education classrooms.” The union also wants “widespread access to mental health support for staff, students, and families.” 

February 8th: The Death of 16-year-old Nex Benedict 

Nex Benedict, a non-binary student at Owasso High School in Oklahoma, had been bullied for months and targeted for their gender identity. On February 8, they were badly beaten in a school bathroom by three older students. The school did not call an ambulance or seek additional medical help for Nex. The next day, Nex died. While the medical examiner has not ruled Nex’s death as a result of trauma, the cause is still unknown. Nex’s death is a terrible tragedy regardless of the cause of death. 

February 19th: A New York mom sneaks into school and beats up the teacher

The 31-year-old mom, who is short in stature, had her hood up when she sneaked past security at Lincoln Middle School on Feb. 16. A few minutes later, the woman started “pummeling” her daughter’s teacher in front of the class. The beating resulted in what doctors are saying will be “long-term issues” since she shattered bones in her face. 

February 20th: Boston school asks for the National Guard to help control the students

Four members of the Brockton School Committee sent a letter to the city’s Mayor, Robert Sullivan, asking him to forward their request to the governor to deploy state guardsmen to Brockton High School. Apparently, behavior is so out of hand the school can no longer manage it. “Over the past few months, our high school has experienced a disturbing increase in incidents related to violence, security concerns, and substance abuse,” the school committee members wrote. “The situation has reached a critical point. More recently, we had an alarming 35 teachers absent, underscoring the severity of our challenges.”

The committee members also cited frequent incidents of students “wandering the halls” and causing classroom disruptions. Students leave school without permission, while others get into high school without permission. 

February 20st: Akron school closes due to threats

A preparatory school in Akron, Ohio, had to close the school for a day after a middle school student’s family threatened the school administration on a local podcast. Apparently, a post on social media appeared to be a parent making accusations against one teacher and one administrator. According to the school’s Facebook post, all administrators filed restraining order requests and are seeking legal counsel to file a “slander” suit possibly.

February 21st: Middle school student strikes adult in the head

Since this story is still developing, little more about the incident is known. A student struck an adult in the head at a school in Stafford County, Virginia, on Wednesday morning, according to the sheriff’s office.

Camera footage shows the student striking the adult in the head. A criminal complaint for assault and battery was filed against the student.

I don’t know if there is just something about the dreariness of February or if things are just escalating this badly, but there certainly was an overabundance of violence and suffering in our schools this month!

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Jane Morris

Jane Morris is the pen name of an ex-teacher who would really like to tell you more about herself but is worried awful administrators will come after her for spilling their dirty little secrets. Jane has taught English for over 15 years in a major American city. She received her B.A. in English and Secondary Education from a well-known university and her M.A. in Writing and Literature from an even fancier (and more expensive) university. As a professional queen of commiseration turned published author, Jane’s foremost passion in life is to make people laugh through the tears.

She has written several highly acclaimed books unpacking the reality of teaching and life inside the school system. You can view her full library of works here.