Pat Frost, the North Carolina teacher who in June slapped a student during a dispute over his saggy pants, has been suspended without pay and will likely lose her job, WBTV reports.
Frost, a U.S. Army veteran of 25 years with a 13-year teaching career, claims she only slapped 18-year-old Johnathan Smith in self-defense after the Anson High School rising senior threatened to assault her.
At the time, she reportedly stopped 18-year-old Johnathan Smith to tell him to pull up his sagging pants. But Smith didn't comply, allegedly telling the teacher to "get the [expletive] out of his way" and shoved past her, WBTV reported.
When Frost followed him outside, reportedly to record his name, the teen began to charge at her, yelling that he would "[expletive] her up."
Smith told WSOC-TV, however, that he did pick up his pants and told the teacher his name -- but Frost didn't believe him.
Both individuals are charged with assault, and Frost was suspended with pay after the incident occurred, pending results of a district investigation into the charges. Anson County Superintendent Greg Firn has also recommended her dismissal. WSOC-TV reports Frost is an English as a Second Language teacher, so she travels throughout the district.
According to Frost’s lawyer, Josh Van Kampen, Smith was the aggressor and initiated body contact, getting in her face while hurling expletives. But this wasn't the first time the teen had gotten in trouble with the law.
Court documents reveal that earlier in the school year, Smith was also charged with assault on a female, sexual battery and second degree kidnapping for an incident that happened at the Anson County school, WBTV reports.
"[School leaders] didn't tell us about the criminal charges that stemmed from the very same school with the student that year," Van Kampen told WBTV. He adds that there is a video account of the confrontation that he anticipates will be a “smoking gun” in the case.
"That's the only explanation we can come up with why the superintendent is literally hiding it," Van Kampen said.
District superintendent Gregory Firn issued a one-page statement on his decision regarding Frost’s employment status:
"Following that investigation and a complete review of all circumstances, Ms. Frost has now been suspended without pay, effective August 30, 2012."
Van Kampen says Frost has 14 days to appeal the decision, according to the Anson Record. Frost is scheduled to appear in court Sept. 25 to face the assault charge, and the earlier charges against Smith are still pending.
Meanwhile, the dispute has spurred an online petition in support of Frost. The "Support Pat Frost" Facebook page encourages community members to contact the superintendent and demand Frost's reinstatement.
A Change.org petition calling for Frost's reinstatement as a teacher, and stopping "the potential for retaliation to be acceptable towards those who exercise their right to self defense" has garnered 1223 signatures out of a 1,500-signature goal.