DeLeon Elementary teacher injured by fifth-grade student

Jessica Priest By Jessica Priest

May 17, 2013 at 12:17 a.m.
Updated May 18, 2013 at 12:18 a.m.

A DeLeon Elementary School teacher was hospitalized Friday after she was injured by a fifth-grade student, Victoria ISD officials said.

The teacher, whose name was not released by the district, was taken by ambulance to an area hospital for evaluation after the student "lost self-control" shortly after 9 a.m., VISD spokeswoman Diane Boyett said.

Boyett described losing self-control as having a "very strong emotional outburst that could be verbal or physical."

"The teacher was trying to help her calm down," Boyett said, declining to go into the specifics of the case or whether the student has gotten physical before. "A child possesses a great deal of strength. It's sometimes a surprising amount of strength."

She did not know whether other students were in the room at the time, but several adults were nearby.

Federal privacy laws prohibit the school district from releasing the child's name or information about any disciplinary action she will receive.

No weapons were involved.

The teacher has worked for the district since 2012 but has 10 years of teaching experience. Boyett said the teacher was trained on how to both watch for things that could trigger a child's anxiety and de-escalate situations such as this, just as all teachers are while earning their certification or whenever the district brings in consultants.

"In some situations, all you have to do is draw it to that child's attention. In some situations, it means removing the child from the classroom and getting them to a quiet place, so they can calm themselves down, or they can be talked through it," Boyett said.

A "controlled hold" to keep the child from hurting him or herself is also sometimes authorized.

The teacher was later released from the hospital and was at home resting comfortably Friday afternoon, Boyett said.

"She is planning to return to school very soon. ... That's just one of those teacher things. She wants to get back to her kids," Boyett said.

The student, meanwhile, will not return to the DeLeon campus, she added.

The Victoria Police Department responded to the call, but a report about the incident was not available Friday. Sgt. Kelly Luther said the child was sent to a juvenile detention center.

DeLeon Elementary School does not have its own school resource officer.

Principal Selina Reyna sent home with students a letter to parents about the incident. In it, she promised to continue to provide the best learning environment possible.

"The situations we face in our school are not unique," Reyna wrote. "There are students across the nation who are in critical need of both behavior support and a solid education. For most of these students, going to school each day offers them a structure that they need to be successful in overcoming behavior issues."



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