Video Obtained of Student Striking LCO Teacher on Top of Head
SAWYER COUNTY -- An LCO Ojibwe School teacher was struck twice on the top of the head by a male 6th-grade student while she sat at a table during an after-school program, a source close to the incident alleged. The allegations were confirmed when SawyerWire.com obtained LCO Police Dept. report and video footage of the incident.
The source claimed the school administration handled the situation unprofessionally by first, questioning the teacher’s claim, and secondly, by only suspending the student for one day. SawyerWire reached out to the teacher but she chose not to be a part of this story because she remains employed at the school.
The source said on the afternoon of Monday, October 23, the teacher was sitting at a long lunch table in the LCO School cafeteria when suddenly, she was struck on top of the head.
“She looked back and saw the boy going back to his table,” the source said. “There was a group of boys at that table and they were all laughing about it.”
The source said the teacher was stunned, she felt dizzy and held back from crying.
A video of school surveillance showed the boy possibly drop an elbow on top of her head, not once, but twice. The source said the teacher went into a slight black out because she doesn’t even recall being hit the second time.
According to the source, the teacher had kindergarten children at her table when the incident happened, and that she felt humiliated. The teacher waited for the boys to leave and she then reported what happened to Craig Eaneau, the supervisor of the after-school program.
Eaneau told the teacher he would take care of it, but she insisted something be done. Eaneau then said he would take care of it after the buses left that evening. He then came back and told the teacher that the student said he flicked her with his finger. The teacher said it was more than a flick because she had a headache, according to the source.
At that point, Eaneau told the teacher he would have someone watch the cameras the following day because he didn’t have authority. The source claims she then asked Eaneau why he didn’t believe her.
“She felt like Eaneau didn’t believe her,” the source said. People close to the teacher believe the student should have been picked up by his parents immediately, instead, he was allowed to finish out the after-school program.
The source said the teacher felt like a teacher’s word wasn’t good. The source also said the teacher stayed home from school the next day because she didn’t feel good.
On that Tuesday, Jason Bisonette, school disciplinarian, sent the teacher an email and asked her to call him. He told the teacher that he saw the video. Bisonette told her that he saw the student jump up and slam his elbow on the top of her head. The child in question, according to the source, is one of the bigger students in the 6th grade.
The source said the teacher didn’t remember being hit twice. She was asked why she didn’t respond when it happened, and the source states she was dazed and not sure what had happened, and she was humiliated and felt that if she responded at the time, it would have been a worse situation. The source also said she was scared.
On that Tuesday, Bisonette also informed the teacher that the student had been suspended for one day. The source said the teacher and people close to her felt it wasn’t enough punishment.
The teacher later went to the doctor and was diagnosed with a concussion, which she then furnished the doctor report to the school, according to the source.
On Wednesday, the teacher returned to school, and according to the source, she was able to watch the video, which made her very emotional to watch. She had to leave school again and asked another teacher to take her class.
The source alleged that after viewing the video, school administration officials didn’t feel it was very serious. The source said one school official said it looked like the student hit behind her, and not on her, while another official said the teacher messed with papers right after being hit like nothing happened.
SawyerWire.com contacted Jessica Hutchinson, the LCO School Administrator, for comment, but she directed us to speak with school board liaisons, Jason Weaver or Jason Schlender.
Schlender said it is unfortunate the family is not satisfied with the outcome. Schlender said the school board has apologized to the family for what happened.
“The school board takes responsibility for not having a strong enough policy in place,” Schlender said. “We’re currently working on a policy that will provide for a safer place for the students.”
According to the source, Hutchinson said in an email to the teacher that she explained the seriousness of a concussion to the student and that the student said he did not intend to hurt the teacher and was 'messing around'.
According to the LCO Police Dept. report on the incident, made after a request by the teacher and the officer viewed the video footage, he said he witnessed the student position his right hand over his right shoulder, “and as he descended from the leap, brought his right elbow down on the top of her head with enough force that her head jarred upon impact.”
The officer reported that he then witnessed the student walk away only to return about two seconds later and forcefully bring his arm down again, but the view of whether it actually struck her head was obstructed.
The police report also states that Hutchinson and Bisonette both told the police officer they felt the situation was not as serious as the teacher made it out to be. They both said there were other staff in the cafeteria at the time and none of them noticed what happened.
Hutchinson told the officer that the student had been suspended for one day and she felt that the incident didn’t warrant any more attention.