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Defend Thyself Personal Defense

Teacher Punches Student–Justified Personal-Defense?

by George Wehby   |  June 27th, 2011 59

In the following video, a Florida teacher punches a student in the face.  The student crowded her into a closed door and was screaming vulgarities at her.  The teacher threw two punches one landing square on the student’s jaw.  The student then retreats away and the video ends.  In this case, the teacher was originally charged, but later the charges were dropped due to the video showing this may be a clear example of personal-defense to the State’s Attorney.


I, for one, commend the teacher for doing what’s necessary to defend herself, and for throwing a pretty technical right cross.  I do not know if she has had any training, but I would not be surprised if she had.  The teacher appears to give the student fair warning and indicates that his behavior is threatening to her.  That is not always required, but if the situation dictates, I say again–if the situation dictates–it is a good idea to give verbal commands.

Verbal commands can bring attention to your plight and corroborate any testimony you give to the fact that you were not the original aggressor.  However, if the situation is too dangerous or dynamic for such a thing, obviously verbal comments or warnings are not needed.  Either way, defend yourself out there.

  • Shawn1172

    Wow, what exactly are parents doing nowaday? Because they certainly aren't bothering to raise their kids! This teacher did what she had to do and he certainly had it coming. I can't imagine ever behaving like that punk but if I had when I was his age, the punch from the teacher wouldn't even compare to what would be waiting for me at home.

    • Frank

      If I had what the teacher did would have been the least of my worries. My father would have take a belt to me until I could walk for a week. Times have definitely not changed for the good.

    • Dennis Green

      Right, I was never hit by a teacher but if I ever told my parents that a teacher hit me my next action would be to duck. I must of done something wrong for a teacher to hit me.

    • MarkCharlotte

      Thanks to the Federal Reserve devaluing the dollar, it buys less, we're paid less, and thus parents can't have Mom stay home to raise the kids while Dad goes out to earn a living. Now the State has kids for 8+ hrs a day and the TV raises them in the evening. Parents only get 10 minutes to say goodnight before bed and then another 10 minutes in the morning before school. 20 minutes a day is not enough time to raise a kid.

      • Scott E. Mayer

        Great point. When my wife and I were having our first of 3 kids, a very good friend told me that no matter how successful I was, I could never make enough money to pay someone to do as good a job raising our kids as we could. My wife quit her job to raise the kids.

        At the time, that halved our income and things were tight–very tight. But you adjust your expenses to your income and now 13 years later she's still at home with the kids, and they instinctively reply with "Yes Sir, Yes, Ma'am," or "No Sir, No Ma'am," and are more likely to say "Oh my!" instead of "Oh s****!"

        Believe me, the cut in pay to raise the kids was money very well spent. And I'm sure an appropriate and loving spank when the above "boy" was in Elementary school would have prevented the need for the right cross in High School. Hopefully this teacher "taught" him something and in the future he will think twice about pulling that kind of intimidation on someone in the real world.

  • Shawn1172

    Many years ago a teacher from my high school had a similar incident. On his very first day teaching, "Mr. B" had a kid in a study hall get on top of his desk and start jumping from one desk to another. When Mr.B yelled at him to sit down the kid got in his face, yelling profanities and basically "what are you gonna do about it". Mr. B's first thought was to deck the punk. So he did. Laid him out unconcious, the kid twitched a few times and stopped moving. Mr. B thought he'd killed the kid! When he came to he was sent to the office. That night Mr. B gets a call from the parent saying "I hear you hit my kid today." He's in a panic, thinking his career is ended on the day it started and he might go to jail for assault. The parent proceeds to thank him and tell Mr.B he has his blessing to drop the kid again if he acts up again. Not that it would ever be needed after the father was through with him. Mr.B went on to a long career and retired from the same school system.

    • latxguy

      I taught in NE Louisiana, if such had happened I promise you the teacher would not have a chance!!! The teacher would be history and the office would in quick action defend the child. The admin is politically correctiveness attitude. Behind the doors, however their talk is different.

  • Raymond Clifford

    55 here and brought upp in a school called Christ The King from K-8(1960-1969) We if the occasion required it were forcibly and publicly punished with corporal punishment after certain incidents! The nuns never hesitated to whack you a good one with whatever they could get their hands on! Nowadays their would be no end of lawyers sucking the parish dry if such a practice were still in place.We were taught that if we hit a car with a snowball and the older driver caught us he had the unspoken right to HURT! us! We learned the meaning of for every action their is a reaction! It makes me ashamed to see how the kids of today are allowed to act out and get away with it! That said,whaddayagonnado?

  • Jayhawker

    No issues with the teachers actions…she has as much right to defend herself as anyone. and it's obviously WAY past time that the hoodlum got knocked on his butt, he's certainly not getting any discipline at home….

  • bobbyrlf3

    I can't imagine how difficult it must be to be a teacher in today's world of absentee parenting and the resultant out-of-control kids. Between struggling for funding to have the tools necessary to be an effective teacher, to controlling the classroom, and being physically in danger, I expect we'll see more of this happening. And that would be a good thing.

  • Guy Macher

    Not long ago, other males in the room would have tried to stop that bully. If I had tried that, my dad would have beat me senseless, and I would have deserved it.

    This thug needs a lesson behind the barn!

  • nutsofish

    Sheesh! I don't hit my children to discipline them, but I sure as hell would if I heard one of them had been so vile and disrespectful towards one of their teachers.

    Teachers are among the unsung heroes of our society, they impart essential knowledge and should be valued and cherished. In the public sector, they are underpaid and overworked and sadly, as a result, their numbers are now dwindling.

    Two things are poignant in this case:

    1. He is a large man/male adolescent and she is a small woman. For him to act in such an aggressive maner towards her is utterly despicable and he should have been punished for his intimidating behaviour.

    2. She is the teacher and he is the student and in the classroom, what she says, goes. If he doesn't like what she has to say, he should shut up and put up and speak up later if necessary.

    In my opinion, that woman was justified in defending herself against a potential attacker and that student is an embarrassment to himself, his family and all who associate with him.

  • adultsrights

    the student is nothing but a thug and a bully. HE needs to be arrested,not the teacher.

  • robert38-55

    I will have to back the Teacher. This kid is obvisously out of control and has had little or no structure or disciple his whole life. Every human on this planet has the right to self-defense, regardless of the instrument of choice.I come from the old days and we flat just didn't do things like this back then. We weren't raised, that way, we didn't even think about doing a vile disrespectfull act like that,much less carry it out.

  • Glock Man

    How about a time out. Since taking out home Discipline this is what we now have. I am 58 years old and very much a positive to society. I was spanked or slapped by mom or dad growing up as needed. I really didn't like that so guess what I behaved and did what I was told. That was not child abuse in any shape, form, or way. Did you hear the one student yell out child abuse in video? What we are raising is a bunch of kids who are not nearly as respectful as they should be. I am not saying all kids are like this, but have meant many that are. I just want to slap some sense into them as they certainly don't have much. I have an 18 Y.O. step son. Go on facebook some time and see their posts or profiles of these kids and see what they say.. It's disturbing. She had every right to defend herself and then some. Maybe if she had kicked his butt in front of his friends, she would be alot more respected herself. A different time for me but a happier time growing up..

  • RobertP2P

    Apparently teachers need stun guns, pepper spray, batons and nets to control "children" who have not been taught to respect others.

    This is shameful, and if it is to continue I would advocate a security person armed as above in every classroom, and mandatory education in respect for others, anger management and communication, along with critical thinking and the actual history of the United States from kindergarten through high school.

    • JerryJ

      I agree! I believe that teachers should have the option and right to carry concealed in the classroom with the proper training and licensing in their prospective state. I think that enough teachers with the proper training would have made a huge difference in the Columbine Tragedy. A lot of lives could have been saved. I hate to say it, but the young people of today lack the discipline and respect for anyone but themselves and in the age of computers when everything is instantaneous and face to face socialization is against the norm, lack the ability to resolve problems logically and peacefully. This "Lord of the Flies" mentality needs to stop and both the kids and the parents need to be held accountable! NO TOLERANCE FOR BULLIES!!!!

      • J Cincinnati

        Ah but that's where you are confused. The teacher has 0 rights in this situation. As a Sub I had a kid start to come over a desk to teach me a lesson. It should be noted that I was subbing for the female teacher he had threatened 3 days before (he got a three day vacation). The 'intervention teacher' happened to be standing there and escorted him back down to the principal.

        My aunt had a kid knock her to the ground and broke her arm. She wasn't even allowed to have her co-pay paid by the thug … I mean student

        The best part. When the parent teacher conference comes around. 'What did you do to make my kid mad?'

        • Dante Dread

          Got that right. I am a teacher and each year there are fewer and fewer parents who back the teacher and more parents accusing the teacher. I have been counseled by our admin multiple times for "raising my voice" – really! What was I doing, how about breaking up a fight, stopping vandalism, seperating quarreling students, or just getting their attention when the noise level was over the top. Blows my mind. Teachers have very little back up today and each year I wonder if it is my last. The media loves to portray us as evil monsters as well, for every positive story on a teacher there are several making the teacher look like a villain. I know we aren't all saints, but it sure looks like a media consipiracy to me…and no I don't see a conspiracy behind every bush.

        • Pat from Urbana, OH

          I retired 30 days ago from a 35 year teaching career. What you just said is RIGHT ON THE MONEY!! That's exactly what happens. When I told a parent their son wasn't paying attention b/c I saw him under the desk tying the neighbor's shoelaces together…this mother said, "He was not!" How do you get any cooperation with mentality like that.

  • shannonteacher

    As a teacher you would be surprised at how many parents would still defend their child's behavior even though the student is clearly in the wrong.

    • JerryJ

      They see it as a chance to sue the school and the teacher and get rich!

  • Steve Elliott

    wow, if that were to have happened on the street, where a much larger male were to back anyone into a corner, let alone a smaller female, she would have been justified to shoot him. As far as I'm concerned, he got off easy. I hope my wife or daughter would have the fortitude to do the same to him, and my sons to have the dignity to stand up and stop someone doing something like that in front of them. God bless her! (is THAT legal to say?)

  • james

    So, would the teacher have been prosecuted if the video did not exists. I noted that the charges were not dropped until after the video came to light.

    • JerryJ

      Some of the other kids in the class were obviously against the teacher, so it was their word against hers. Thank god that someone had the presence of mind to record the whole thing on their phone, otherwise that poor teacher would have spent months in court trying to prove her innocence. That student should be commended for doing what was right despite the consensus!

  • Waxy Gordon

    That kid should have both of his hands broken with a ball-peen hammer!

    • Ronny

      You are the reason people think everyone is as stupid as YOU. You are obviously a sick DH!! Kids need discipline not torture

      • Scott E. Mayer

        Ronny, play nicely here or I'll pull your posts.

  • http://none Opal Marrs

    I would have been very angry if a teacher gave one of my children "capital punishment". But wait a minute – I brought up 5 children, 3 biological and 2 adopted. I was a parent and parenting seems to be lacking these days. So I would certainly support this teacher in something she had to do. Had she been less strong than she is, she might have been a victim. Brutality and bullying are never approved behavior and if the parents can't control it or find treatment, if required, then these trends must be approached at their source, in this case, at school. What would some expect her to do – just stand there and take a beating? Oh, no, I stand for the teacher and I am glad she had the evidence to support what she did.

    • Roger Muse

      I would be really upset also if any teacher ever used CAPITAL punishment in the classroom. The death penalty is just too much of a punishment for this type of incident.

      Corporal Punishment should however be allowed. Some of these kids need their backsides tanned with a good belt.

      • Ronny

        Capital punishment can and is spanking or whippings and that should be used not only in school but in the home as well. No punishment at home is why these spoiled brats act the way they do. Next time your kid screams talk to you as if you were a dog only worse or they do not follow the rules, Spank them you will see the difference quick. Oh by the way do not wait until they are teens to do this. If you do it may be too Late!!

        • nutsofish

          Ronny, I think the point Roger was making was that 'Capital Punishment' actually means a death sentence, whereas your own favoured 'spanking or whippings' are correctly termed 'Corporal Punishment.'

          'Corporal' meaning 'of the body,' eg; a good slap on the arse!


          The problem many parents seem to have is with their own self-discipline, a parent should lead by example. If parents have little or no respect for authority, then their children will follow suit.

          Sad is an understatement for this particular phenomenon.

  • http://none Opal Marrs

    Again, let me say that the child was wrong and will continually do wrong until he gets the parenting he should have had all along. Of course, the child must also be taught responsibility for his actions, but that is part of parenting.

  • Joel

    Sad that the kid had to be slapped. Wonder how he acts toward his parents? Seems if he had been kept in check at home he wouldn't act like that toward strangers.

  • 1911fan

    Liberal progressive agendas in the public school system have brought us exactly to where we are. The schools are indoctrination centers/liberal voter facotories. Expect things to get worse before they get better.

  • Dave Wilson

    It's about time this country get back to the basics. You act the idiot in school, you will be punished, you confront a teacher, as above, you will get nailed. That teacher deserves the support of every REAL American.

  • Loudenboomerkickenha

    Thank goodness there was footage and testimony on teacher's behalf.

    In today's climate she would not have stood a chance if it would have been he said she said.

    Kids today have no respect and laws are skewed in the kids favor.

    Former liberal supreme courts have seen to it that kids can get away with anything in the schools today (except when it comes to the ridiculous zero tolerance stuff) and this is resulting in our society going to hell in a hand basket!

  • Mark

    The teacher performed in a measured, justifiable manner. Thank Goodness for the video segment. Her word should be accepted above that of the student, unless something should prove otherwise if warranted. I actually had a teacher take two swats at me with a paddle in junior high because he was convinced I lied to him. I did not lie to him, and when a fellow student asked me if it hurt?, I smiled, and said: "No, it did not hurt!", trashing his ego for not believing in me and my integrity that the homework produced was mine and not beyond my capability. I believe that this particular teacher has held a grudge that when I delivered a Civil Air Patrol literature package to him at his job, we never heard from the school presenting the information to the students. What a shame that someone cannot learn from every human's best offering to stand up for integrity and understanding, and not bow down to intolerance and bullying.

  • Mitch

    Could it be that the Judicial System is finally waking up to

    reality? If it hadn't been for photo evidence from the class

    room of a potentially threatening situation for the teacher,

    she could have been charged with child-abuse. Instead,

    she defended herself as she has every right to do. Again,

    it seems that the judiciary is far more concerned with the

    rights of the perpetrators of crime than the victims of crime.

  • Waxy Gordon

    Most school administrators these days have no spine and have a complete lack of common sense, they provide little to no support to the teachers.

  • Mr. G

    The teacher was justified in doing what she did.

    This type of student (aggressive, disrespectful, ignorant, lazy etc) is more prevalent than you know in American schools today. This type of student ruins the educational system for everyone by interrupting instruction for the students who genuinely want to be learning (most), and the teachers who genuinely want to be teaching (most).

    If most parents knew about the number of daily disruptions that occur in most classes they would demand that problem students be pulled out of their children's classes.

    The most unfortunate thing about this whole matter is that teachers are relatively powerless to do anything of real consequence regarding these troublemakers, and teachers are held accountable when these lowlifes flunk their standardized testing which is the BS way that teachers are valued in America today.

    Teachers are held accountable for everything under the sun in schools;

    it's time parents are held accountable for their F&*%$&G brats.

    NYC Teacher

  • Dennis L.

    From the brief video, her actions are justified. Larger stronger, aggressive demeanor against a smaller female= punch in the face!

  • A

    So this is what happens when we allow the kinder gentler America to take over. Kids don't know any discipline or that there are consequences to their actions. This should be on every news station and parenting site.

  • Kerry Dutton

    That was no KID, did you see how big he was compared to her? She did the right thing in my opinion. If he had been rasied right he would have respect first for his elders first and then respect for someone who is giving of her time to teach him. what he really needs is what my daddy would have given me for even talking back.

  • thomas poland

    in the old days, my father put raul the bold across a desk with a punch. and his students loved him. in defense yes.

  • juneaumac

    I feel the teacher was in her rights also. Here is another example of how Dr Spock helped ruin the last few generations. I'm one of the older what would be called the generation-xers but My Mom turned forty in 1963 when I was born and I was taught to respect my elders expecially teachers. My Mom raise 5 decent humans and I managed to raise 3. I think my grand kids have a chance too.

  • Mack

    I would be very ashamed of my child if they walked toward the teacher like this. I don't even have children. If my child walked toward me like that, looking as if they were going to attack me–all out of control–I'd whack 'em too! When it all comes down to it, sometimes we (children or adults) just need to know when to follow or shut up & have patience! I'm not saying that every incident would require hitting a kid or perp, but often we are given video of a teacher or Police officer hitting the other person without a full story on what really happened. I once had a guy come up to me talking crap and I got so angry and my adrenaline started pumping so much that he went and sat down. He had told me that he beats people up like me all the time lol, but he sure sat his butt down! I almost hit him & I think he saw that. I did not want that to happen & I'm glad that he sat down. The guy just was not thinking civilized…

  • waarego

    Times have changed for the worse. I have seen things similar. I wonder when the liberals will stop indoctrinating the kids. My old man would have killed me if I would have done something like that.

  • john boy

    After 10 years in public schools I left because I grabbed a students hand to prevent her from hitting another student in the face. also two incidents where students put foreign objects into my coffeethat I knew about I was made to feel that it was my fault

  • Brian P.

    Is it any coincidence that after several decades of no need for God, no need for a father, and the traditional family doesn't matter anymore it produces kids like this? Because I love my kids and want a decent future for them my boys KNOW I will flat out lay them out if they behave like this. Guess what?….They don't.

  • Ronny

    It is about time a teacher stood his or her ground. The liberal BS of no corporal punishment is what is wrong in this country. If you do not set guide lines and rules with real consequences and time out is BS., the kids will not respect you because they think you do not care. A whipping or spanking of younger kids (not beatings) helps them remember there are real consequences for not following the rules sets guide lines and they will respect you. Time outs and groundings are no answer to the problems with Kids now or ever. If you think I am full of BS just try it your self. You will be surprised at the change in attitude of your Child. If you take the time and put in the effort to actually doing something that will actually punish your kids you will see a improvement in their attitude toward you and life in general. This politically correct crap is exactly that CRAP. They have taken God and discipline out of not only schools but homes and public. NO DISCIPLINE NO RESPECT!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

  • bigjohn

    I love the comments made here about this bully who obviously is lacking in people, and anger manage ment skills. He had to have learned tha tthis was acceptable behavior by his parents or peers in his family. The teacher should have done just what she did. The bully had already invaded her personal space by getting into her face and calling her names. Most people do not like other people standing close to them or invading that personal space. Parents are between a rock and a hard place. If they spank their kids early in life then some bleeding heart will report them as child abusers. The world has not changed so much as the people in it who lack, honesty, integrity,discipline and morality. We put up with anything anymore because he media and supposed academic educators say is ok and bad for the child if there are held accountable and disciplined. There world is the same but peoples moral compass, compassion, and the ability to reason right from wrong has been lost. The sad thing is that it will only get worse in our life time.

  • andy

    I think the teacher didn't hit the kid enough. A few more wouldn't have hurt.

    I had a teacher in Junior High, circa 1977, drag a girl who was bad mouthing him, from her desk to the principals office. Literally dragged her across the floor, down the hall on her butt. The teacher was white male, the girl was black. How do you think that would go today? Even then, the mother of the girl came down to the school and got in the teachers face. He never backed down and that's as far it went. No more to say. Later the teacher and girl became friends. On another occasion she started to act up, he stopped her in her tracks, and nothing ever happened again.

    It will never happen that way with the "justice system" now in place.

  • John Brown

    "I, John Brown, am now quite certain that the crimes of this guilty land will never be purged away but with blood. I had, as I now think vainly, flattered myself that without very much bloodshed it might be done."

    Crazy cannot be reasoned with… it must be eradicated. We have coddled them to the point that they feel some sense of equality with adults, and this is the result. Proof positive that when evil is given a free hand, it will use that hand to attack.

  • Bigbore54

    Certainly violence should be a last resort, but anyone who threatens, assaults or tries to intimidate someone weaker, deserves what they get, she should have saved her knuckles and just kicked him in the nuts, teachers are important and need to be teach the kids that want to be there and learn without having to put up with some delinquent who is there because he has to be and sole intention is just to disrupt and bully, I would be willing to bet there is little or no supervision or attention being provided at home,

  • JP

    After reading all of the posts, I must also agree with the majority, in that the teacher was justified in her actions to defend herself. It's a shame that children, whether adolescents or teenagers, should be getting away with committing such actions.

    In my opinion, the bleeding hearts of the world should take most of the blame for this ever coming into fruition. Sure in the beginning, there were a few incidents where teachers physically abused students, and that I would never tolerate. But instead of just making them examples, which I'm sure they were to one degreee or another, the judicial system felt that tying the hands of all teachers would solve the problem in one fell swoop. Boy were they mistaken on that one. By tying the hands of the teachers, they have lost any power whatsoever in the classroom to maintain a semblance of order. Personally, I grew up in a military family and if my father, let alone mother, ever got wind of me doing something as heinous as threatening a teacher, I'd be crucified in the figurative sense. When I was in elementary school in NC during the mid-80's, corporal punishment was still allowed. I got into a fight one day with another student and not only did I get it from the teacher, I also got it from the principal, and then again from my parents when I got home.

    Presently I'm in a relationship with my girlfriend and her 3 children. In the beginning, they were pre-teen and in most cases without discipline and out of control. Yelling at their mother like they were in charge, feeling they didn't have to follow any rules whatsoever. Most of this came from their biological father who was a drunk and drug user in and out of jail. Not to mention a wife beater. Well, I'm a former Marine, so needless to say, that kind of behavior would surely not be tolerated. After 6 years, all three have made dramatic changes and excel at school with no real issues.

    In all, the truth stands that most kids are now raised by kids. Agree with it or not, but the art of parenting has unfortunately fallen by the wayside for most families and has now been replaced by television, video games, the internet, and social networking. Kids today know nothing of taking responsibility because most parents have no clue of what that means. Worse of all, what kind of message are we sending to kids when even the judicial system, as overloaded as it is, gives offenders mulitple slaps on the wrist with no real punishment. Case in point, I was reading a local paper and there was a gentleman accused of DUI. As I read further, this was his 8th DUI and they weren't going to mandate any jail time. I don't know about you, but if I was a teenager and I saw that, I surely wouldn't be worried about driving drunk if I knew there wasn't going to be any kind of major repercussion. Television, the internet, and video games only make the problem that much worse. They offer a world where it shows them that violence is acceptable and thus alright to mirror in the real world. Since parenting is limited and most never monitor what their child is doing, children have no real guidance for their perverbial moral compass and thus wind up straying from doing the "right" thing.

    I could go on and on about the shortcomings of the last few generations and their divergence from what is considered morally right. So in conclusion, the teacher had every right to defend herself . Teachers are among the unsung heroes in this country who are under appreciated by both parents and their children. Lawmakers should realize this fact and release the shackles that bind them. Make the parents and children accountable for both behavior and learning. The teacher can only do their job and teach. They can't force a child to learn. It's like the saying goes "You can lead a horse to water, but you can't make it drink. A child has to want to learn and should they choose not to, then they are ultimately responsible. To place that burder on the shoulders of our teachers is incomprehensible and they should be realeased from such. I say that we all should bless those who give of themselves whether military, police, firefighters, and most of all the teachers who try to instill a firm foundation in which our children can continue to grow upon. And say thank you the next time you see one.

  • Tom

    She did what she needed to do & no more. If that had been me when I was young my father would of brought me in to see her so that I could tell her I was sorry and something like that would NEVER happen again! That is if I was able to after he found out about it.

  • Leon

    I am sorry but I did not see the kid do anything except get in her face.If you are allowed to legally hit someone for this,then OK.I just did not see him threaten her,his arms were down at his side.I admit his actions are disgusting but I could not hear what was being said.

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