St. Paul Teacher Assaulted By Student, Suffers Traumatic Brain Injury

St. Paul Teacher Assaulted By Student, Suffers Traumatic Brain Injury
handcuffs Keith Allison/Flickr CC BY-SA 2.0

A St. Paul, Minnesota, high school teacher suffered traumatic brain injury while trying to break up a fight between students in the school’s cafeteria.


The fight was between two Central Senior High School students over football statistics. The teacher, one of the several members of the staff attempting to break up the fight, was assaulted by Fon’Tae O’Bannon, 16. The teacher was trying to prevent O’Bannon from joining the fight when he was attacked, the criminal complaint said.

The teacher was slammed into a concrete wall, after which O’Bannon picked him up and began strangling him, according to The police said the teacher blacked out for 10 to 20 seconds. The assault came to an end when other staff members interrupted and gained control of the situation. The teacher sustained injuries and scratches to his neck when the police found him. When he was transported to the hospital, the doctors said he had sustained traumatic brain injury, neck trauma and a concussion. O’Bannon was charged with third-degree assault.

The incident follows a series of other assaults on a school official by a juvenile, Ramsey County Attorney John Choi said. With 27 total assaults this year, the number has nearly doubled from 2014. “The fact that these incidents involving students assaulting teachers across the county have been increasing at a really alarming rate,” Choi said.

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According to District Superintendent Valeria Silva, O’Bannon started at Central High School in September. She added that she did not know whether O’Bannon had behavioral issues before that. She emphasized that a teamwork involving students, teachers and parents was required to arrive at a solution, CBS Local reports. “We as a school district take the precautions that we can and we do the discipline, such as suspension or ultimately expulsion. We have a common goal, which is we are all here to ensure safety in our schools,” she said.