Warning: This article contains graphic content that might not be suitable for some readers. This article includes violent video, excessive violence and profanity.
Two 13-year-old boys have been charged with assaulting their teacher at a Toronto public school. A disturbing video captured the boys physically attacking a teacher in a classroom at Lord Dufferin Junior and Senior Public School on March 19th. The video depicts the students grabbing the teacher and repeatedly punching his head. In an act of self-defence, the teacher can be seen pushing the students off of him.
The Toronto District School Board has reportedly stated that the events recorded in the video are "deeply concerning", according to CBC Toronto. Although the school board has not released the identity of the man in the video, students and one teacher from the school have confirmed to CBC Toronto that he is indeed a teacher.
A police spokesperson informed CBC Toronto that the man suffered non-life-threatening injuries, and stated that the two students surrendered to police. Both boys were charged with one count of assault. The video was obtained by CBC from World Star Hip Hop.
According to Ryan Bird, a spokesperson for the Toronto District School Board, the board is unable to specifically comment on the disciplinary actions the board intends to take. However, "in general, physical assault can result in suspension and possible expulsion under the Education Act."
The president of the Elementary Teachers of Toronto Union, Joy Lachica, told CBC Toronto reporters that she was "completely distraught" after viewing the video of the assault. "I was horrified. To see something like this happen in the classroom, to see students witnessing it, and to see one of our members be the object of this sort of violence — it was very, very distressing."
She also explained that it was apparent that the teacher attempted to manage the situation as best as he possibly could. But ultimately, the incident became uncontrollable and emphasizes a bigger problem within the public school system.
"We know that this is happening in classes. It is just heartbreaking and demoralizing to see that on a video stream like that," she told CBC Toronto.
According to Lachica, students demonstrate a wide range of requirements, and classrooms must obtain more assistance from the provincial government to reduce teachers' vulnerabilities. However, the Ontario government's recent modifications to the province's autism program and class sizes may actually cause more of these types of confrontations to occur.