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Home of the Delta Kings

Stagg Online

“That’s shocking! It’s terrifying really,” Students and teachers react to attack on teacher

(Savannah Almendarez / Stagg Online)
“I would probably try to de-escalate the situation.”Oscar Ochoa Martinez shares his thoughts on the violence he´s witnessed.

EDIT 12/12/23: The phrasing of the second paragraph was changed from “verbally provoked” to “allegedly verbally provoked.”

Teachers and staff have expressed their thoughts concerning safety following multiple incidents of students attacking teachers. 

In early October, an attack occurred when a teacher, who is currently on leave, allegedly verbally provoked a group of students and a second teacher was attacked when they attempted to restrain the students after they chased the first teacher. The attack took place between H and G wing.  

English teacher Monica Messimore said, “That’s shocking! It’s terrifying really, it decreases that level of confidence for teacher’s safety.”

In October, when asked about these series of attacks, Principal Brett Toliver had no comment, saying there was an ongoing investigation. 

Later that same month, the original teacher was once again the subject of another attack by a student. 

The second incident took place later on in October in the R wing building in which five students, according to witnesses, allegedly mobbed and attacked a teacher. The overall scene was recounted as both shocking and puzzling according to students. “I was like, ‘Oh shoot! It’s a…it’s a teacher fighting!¨ Freshman Kenyatta Slade said.

Witnesses described the altercation as “shocking” and “unexpected.” Sophomore Alejandro Vasquez saw the attack during class himself. Vasquez said, “It’s unbelievable how I seen the fight in person.” 

While some students were shocked, others talked about handling the situation themselves. Junior Oscar Ochoa Martinez said, “I would probably try to de-escalate the situation.” The primary concern expressed was the safety of teachers and the implementation of disciplinary measures to prevent future incidents. 

Now, two months later, Toliver repeats his statement. “It is not a site investigation,” Toliver said in December. “It is more of a school district investigation.”   

“It is more of a school district investigation.” Principal Brett Toliver in his office ( (Aaliyah Leon / Stagg Online))

In response to the follow up investigations, Science teacher Randall Pombo explains that while he doesn’t know much regarding the attacks, he wishes for them to be rigorous with their inspections. “It’s better to be thorough than to throw blame around.”

“It’s better to be thorough than to throw blame around.” Randall Pombo shares his thoughts on the ongoing investigation. ((Aaliyah Leon / Stagg Online))


Although Ethnic Studies teacher Joy Rialuben-Trejo did not witness the altercations, she still had thoughts about the subject. “The first thing that comes to mind is the safety of myself and my colleagues. We are on the front lines with [students], we have the relationships with you guys, and I feel like as staff members, we are the closest to you in proximity.”

“I see us as the first line of defense when it comes to that kind of thing,” Trejo said. “Essentially, when we’re trying to do our jobs, of course the last thing we’d expect is for a student to react violently when they’re told not to do something.”

Coach Joy Rialuben-Trejo teaching her class. She expresses her feelings about the different altercations on campus. ((Ryan Turner / Stagg Online))

















While Trejo’s stance is more cautious, English Teacher Mary Stoner has a more optimistic look. “While I know not all members of the student body are angels -far from it- I have always believed that respect and unconditional positive regard goes a long way to build a climate of safety within a space.” 

“I am aware that the sentiment might sound naïve,” Stoner said, “but I believe that, ultimately, kindness and respect are rewarded with the same, thus I am never afraid of students at Stagg.”

Ultimately, students teachers administrators have expressed their concerns, thoughts, and opinions to collaborate in creating an environment where disputes are settled through constructive dialogue rather than resorting to violence. In the opinions of our school community, through a collective commitment to safety and respectful discourse, schools can remain secure spaces for all. An atmosphere that fosters learning and growth for everyone involved.


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