A New York City teacher has filed a $2 million lawsuit against the Department of Education after she was allegedly beaten up by a second grader.
The teacher, Cathleen DeGarmo, 58, claims that the department failed to protect her after she was attacked by the student at least three times while teaching at the elementary-middle school P4 in Fresh Meadows.
“The alleged beatings occurred while DeGarmo was teaching in September 2021 and twice during the following November — leaving the teacher with “severe” injuries, including tears in both shoulders,” the New York Post reports. “In one of the incidents, the student began scratching and head-butting DeGarmo in the chest and shoulders, according to reports filed in court. In another, the student repeatedly punched the teacher.”
DeGarmo is a special needs teacher and claims she was not warned about the student’s history of assaults. Additionally, the school did not remove the student from the special education program or provide an assistant to help handle the situation.
The Post report noted that “The Department of Education does not keep public data on teacher assaults, but the NYPD reported that at least 52 school safety agents have injured by students so far this year and more than half of them were transported to the hospital.”
“A total of 58 school safety agents were injured by student misconduct last year and 42 of them were taken to the hospital, according to the NYPD,” the report concluded.
The student’s family was not named in the lawsuit.