A male P.E. teacher caught on camera trying to drag a 14-year-old student into a school’s pool has been identified as Denny Peterson.
The incident occurred at Edison High School in Stockton, California in August of this year. The story began to make national headlines shortly after being reported by News10.
The now viral video shows Denny Peterson wrestling with a student named Sandra Garcia, who refused to fully submerge in the water.
Though young Garcia’s reasoning was a little silly (she didn’t want to get her hair wet), Peterson’s behavior during the 90 second video was highly disturbing and completely inappropriate.
Rather than write up the student, send her to the principal’s office, or even call her parents, Denny Peterson elected to manhandle a teenage girl.
Even when Garcia’s top came off during the confrontation, Peterson continued to drag her around the floor.
He seemed determined to humiliate and punish the teen more so than actually instruct her.
It’s almost as if Denny Peterson were certain he could get away with this unprofessional behavior. Such a presumption seems to be, unfortunately, correct for the time being.
— WSB-TV (@wsbtv) November 21, 2014
How else do you explain how Peterson, despite being videotaped in the act of assaulting a student, still has a job?
According to a News10 exclusive, Denny Peterson is still employed by the Stockton School District, who has only gone so far as to send the disgraced teacher on paid leave.
An action some would consider the equivalent of a paid vacation.
So how is it that Denny Peterson is still in his job, despite the controversy?
The answer is revealed in a statement released by school district officials:
“SUSD has taken appropriate action in this case. The teacher has been placed on paid administrative leave per district policy.”
Sandra Garcia has since spoken up about the horrific event in an interview alongside her mother, Susie.
Both are angry that Peterson is allowed to be around children, especially girls, after his earlier behavior.
“As time goes by, I find out [Denny Peterson] is working at an elementary school,” said Susie Garcia.
“I feel like it’s being shoved under the carpet, like they don’t think it was a big deal what happened to my daughter.”
That attitude may soon change.
Teacher faces criminal charges after being filmed dragging student into pool http://t.co/rBEFRnd061
— HuffPost Crime (@HuffPostCrime) November 22, 2014
The video has gone viral around the world, and was reported about as far away as Australia.
It may be hard for the school district to continue to justify keeping a man on their payroll that has physically abused a student. Even if Denny Peterson has been with the school district for ten years.
Denny Peterson was charged with the misdemeanor offense of corporal injury to a child. According to reports, it seems it would take an actual conviction before Peterson were possibly fired.
He is also being sued by the Garcias, who are represented by Stockton attorney, Gilbert Somera.
Somera said that it’s irrelevant how or why his client refused to participate in the class.
“Regardless of her participation, [i]t should disgust you how this man put his hands on a 14-year-old girl.”
Do you believe teachers who are caught being abusive toward students should be allowed to keep their jobs?
[Image Credit: USA Today YouTube]