Employee knocked unconscious in Bartram H.S. fight

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March 25, 2014 2:27:12 AM PDT
A school employee was knocked unconscious while trying to break up a fight at Bartram High School in Southwest Philadelphia.

It was all captured on a student's smartphone and posted online.

"It's just harsh, nobody deserves to be knocked out cold," said Antoinette Calimag, teacher.

The Philadelphia School District and Southwest Detectives say a 17-year-old male student grabbed the employee Friday afternoon and pushed him. The victim fell and was knocked unconscious.

The employee is a climate manager/conflict resolution specialist who is used to dealing with confrontations and fights between students in the halls of the school.

Calimag, a science teacher and union rep, says at Bartram High incidents happen daily.

The district says two teachers were also injured breaking up fights last week.

"We are understaffed. Many (school) buildings throughout Philadelphia are understaffed. We need fair funding," said Calimag.

The climate manager was taken to the hospital for his severe head injuries including a fractured skull and a concussion.

Science teacher Herman Daniel says he feels safe but only in his locked classroom.

"You build a relationship with your students and in a way they kind of have your back but when you're out in the hallway and things are out of control, you never know what's going to happen," said Daniel.

"We cannot educate our children unless basic safety is in place and it isn't," said Calimag.

The district released the following statement on Monday evening:

The School District of Philadelphia and the Office of School Safety will be working with the administration at Bartram High School to review the school's safety plan and climate concerns. The safety and well-being of our staff and students is a priority and we will use our best resources to ensure both.

The suspended 17-year-old suspect was arrested, charged and is up for expulsion.

As for the victim, who has been with the district for more than 15 years, he is resting at home. There's no word if or when he'll return to the school.


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