“No means no and stop means stop,” is the message being loudly sent to a P.E. Teacher in California who is now facing charges after he was caught on video forcefully dragging a 14-year-old girl against her will.
Denny Peterson, a gym teacher at Edison High School, has been charged with corporal injury to a child after an incident in August in which he physically used force against a 14-year-old girl and was caught on camera dragging her as she pleaded for him to stop and saying “no.” Peterson claims he was trying to force the girl into a pool to participate in gym class; however, the student’s attorney makes the case that he did not have any legal right to become physical with a student.
The girl in question had to attend a formal event after school and since there would be no time to have her hair done for the event afterward, she had it done that morning and therefore was avoiding the pool for the day.
The family of the victim became angered when the Stockton Unified School District, who had initially put Peterson on paid leave, reinstated him and merely switched him to another high school in the district. It was not until local news reporters informed the school district that Peterson was facing criminal charges did the school chose to take more actions and suspended him once again.
Attorney Gilbert Somera, who is representing the victim and her family, says that “it should disgust you how this man put his hands on a 14-year-old girl.” In the video the girl can be heard pleading and saying numerous times that her top was falling as she frantically tries to cover herself and fight off Peterson, and as Somera points out in an interview with News10 reporters, his hands can be seen “at her chest area” during the struggle.
The family of the young girl is outraged that the school district did not take the assault on their daughter more seriously and the district has said only that they acted appropriately, according to a News10 report. The incident has parents and women’s rights groups angered at the teacher and the district, and has many asking why school authorities thought it was appropriate to have a teacher on staff who was using physical force on students. While Peterson is facing criminal charges it is also likely that Somera will pursue a lawsuit on the girl’s behalf to send the loud and clear message that “when a woman or a 14-year-old girl says no, it means no.”
[Image: Screen Grab News10 Video]