Police: 13-year-old St. Paul student punched teacher in face

A 13-year-old girl is in custody after she assaulted a staff member at Journeys Secondary School in St. Paul, Minn. on Wednesday, St. Paul Public Schools confirmed.  Journeys is a school for students with emotional and behavioral disabilities.

According to St. Paul police, the student punched a staff member in the face and was continuing to be aggressive towards staff. She was taken into custody and is being held at the Ramsey County Juvenile Detention Center. She is facing a felony theft charge, as well as a misdemeanor for assault. 

This is the second assault on a St. Paul Public Schools staff member in the past seven days and the 28th school assault in Ramsey County this year, St. Paul Public Schools spokesperson Toya Downey told Fox 9. A teacher suffered a traumatic brain injury after attempting to break up a fight at Central High School on Dec. 4.

In response to the assault on Dec. 4 and other incidents, the St. Paul teachers union took the first step toward a strike when they filed a petition for state mediation on Tuesday.

St. Paul Public Schools statement

School safety and security are top priorities for Saint Paul Public Schools. We want safe learning environments for our students and staff  and are doing what we can to make that possible. It saddens us that some students resort to violent behavior rather than seek peaceful resolutions, but we know that some of that is because they live in a society that is plagued with violence. They may see it in their homes, neighborhoods, communities and in the world. We wish this weren't happening and will continue to work to make a positive difference in their lives. We know that it takes resources beyond the school district and that it requires that we work collaboratively with families, the community, the City and the unions that are represented in Saint Paul Public Schools. We want to create safe learning and working environments for our students and staff.

Journeys Secondary School gives students with emotional or behavioral disabilities a structured place to learn skills and gain confidence. The students concentrate on academics in the morning and participate in career and job related activities in the afternoon, preparing them for life after high school. The small school environment allows students to focus on what matters for their future. As they move through our program they may discover a hidden talent or a new interest that will take them through adulthood.

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