A New York teacher, who weighs 220 pounds and once played college football, says he was beaten up by a 6-year-old pupil and plans to sue the city.
John Webster, a 27-year-old gym teacher at PS 330 in Queens, says that a first-grade student kicked and bit him after he reprimanded the child for horseplay. The child allegedly injured Webster's ankle and knee, the New York Post reports. Webster says he must now wear braces on his legs.
“[The boy] looks like an angel, but then, all of a sudden, that halo turns into horns. It’s been a nightmare. It’s embarrassing. It’s humiliating," he told the Post. School officials were reportedly warned about the student's behavior but did not act to "protect" Webster.
The boy, who's 4 feet 2 inches tall, also allegedly kicked and pinched the acting principal and school safety officer, according to an April "occurrence report" obtained by the Post. Webster's lawyer Andrew Siben called the child a "tiny terror."
Physical altercations between student and teacher are rare, but they do happen.
Substitute teacher Nedra Morris, 51, died in 2005 when a 9-year-old boy struck her in the chest after refusing to do an assignment she gave to the children, according to the Associated Press. The death was ruled a homicide.
Teachers' responses to physical attacks by students tend to vary by gender. According to a study by the U.S. Department of Education, male teachers are more than twice as likely to report an attack than female teachers, the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette notes.