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Teacher assualted at school

A Federal Way High School teacher is recovering from a student assault this week that stemmed from a disagreement over classwork.

The 15-year-old student, who was expelled from school, remains in custody at the Department of Youth Services juvenile detention facility in Seattle. Prosecutors must decide whether to charge him by Monday, said Dan Donohoe, spokesman for the King County prosecutor’s office.

Donohoe said that, if charged with felony assault, “he’d be looking at a subst antial amount of time in juvenile detention. It depends on what the charge is.”

Federal Way High School sophomore Tim Maland, also 15, said the Dec. 17 incident was shocking for students.

“I thought it was kind of disturbing that we had someone violent like that in our school,” he said, adding he’s glad the student was arrested.

“I’ve never heard of a special ed. kid actually beating up a teacher. They’ve been violent before, but not towards a teacher,” he said.

The student launched his alleged assault after the 25-year-old teacher tried to make him do classwork, according to police reports.

“The victim ... was teaching class and the suspect was not participating,” the incident report says. “(The suspect) followed through with his previous threats to assault (the teacher) if she made him do work in class.”

The report says the student grabbed the teacher’s head and pushed her into a desk, pinned her down, and punched her repeatedly.

“It was a punching type assault,” said police spokesman Kurt Schwan, adding hospital officials have been concerned about possible head injuries.

The teacher has been in and out of the hospital since the Dec. 17 incident. She most recently was released from the hospital on Dec. 20. An update on her condition was not available at press time.

She initially was transported to St. Francis Hospital with what appeared to be minor injuries.

However, when she was evaluated further, her injuries appeared to be more substantial, Schwan said. Officials were worried about internal head injuries, he said.

Later that evening, she was transferred to Harborview Medical Center for observation, then was released Dec. 18 in the afternoon. She checked into St. Francis again following her release from Harborview.

The school resource officer initially arrested the student on suspicion of fourth-degree assault after taking statements from two witnesses at Federal Way High School.

The student was transported to the Federal Way police department where he was interviewed and released to his guardian.

The student was re-arrested Dec. 19 after the resource officer obtained a statement from the teacher. With this new information and the apparently increased degree of injury to the teacher, the student was arrested on suspicion of second-degree felony assault and placed in the juvenile detention center. Schwan said police are continuing their investigation.

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