Massachusetts teacher said she may lose job after classroom attack

Thursday, April 10, 2014 - 12:36pm

A Massachusetts teacher who was attacked by a student now says her job is in jeopardy. The incident was caught on camera and posted online, school administrators reportedly claim the teacher did not follow protocol, but the teacher says that's not true, Jared Pliner has the story.

This cell phone video from late March, now viral, shows 18 year-old Kemar Roselus throwing a chair at New Bedford High School teacher Joanne Maura, after she confiscated his cell phone.

Other students are heard laughing in the background.

That student was suspended and eventually expelled, but now Maura's in trouble for allegedly not notifying higher ups, in writing, about the incident.

She faces a hearing next week.

A letter to the veteran teacher from the high school's headmaster, obtained by Eyewitness News, reads, "You failed to perform your responsibilities as a teacher at New Bedford High School and properly inform administration of the nature, detail, and severity of the incident in a timely fashion. This investigation may result in discipline up to an including termination."

Maura says the allegations false, "It was most certainly reported on the phone. The police were called. The house master came, saw the mess. They're trying to get me on a technicality because no one wants to admit that this happened."

The New Bedford school committee met Wednesday night for the first time since the chair throwing ordeal.

In a written statement, Superintendent Pia Durkin declined comment to Eyewitness News because the matter involves personnel.

For Maura, this added layer, brings her back to that classroom frenzy, "Being stabbed in the back or being assaulted again."

A  hearing on the matter will  be held Monday, regardless of the outcome, Maura says she plans to retire from the school district at the end of the school year.

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