On Tuesday, October 25th, in Waukegan, Illinois, 14-year-old Brandon Cole was in class at Jack Benny Middle School.
An argument between him and another student ensued, and rather than de-escalating the two middle schoolers.
A substitute teacher assaulted him. According to NBC Chicago, the adult punched Brandon in the face and broke one of his fingers, leaving the young victim injured and confused.
“I am really scared right now cause my teacher hit me in the face, broke my finger, bruised my face,” Brandon said. He had never had any problems with the substitute before the incident occurred.
“They’re not only not protecting students, but now they’re actually battering and abusing them,” said Kevin O’Connor, the attorney representing Brandon and his family.
“Instead of the teacher breaking it up, the teacher escalated it and ended up punching and assaulting him.”
The attacker was immediately arrested, but the victim’s mother, Natasha Cade, believes it’s not enough. She wants more effort being put into the safety of not just Brandon but the rest of the students as well. “Look at his face and tell me how you act. How should I feel?” Cade asked. “I don’t know whether to be pissed off, confused, or hurt. I want to see stricter procedures on hiring people. I want these kids to feel safe coming to school.”
Superintendent Theresa Plascencia agreed with Cade, claimed that the school board is taking the assault seriously, and said that the safety and security of the students is one of their main priorities. “Whatever happened today, regardless of anything, no one ever has the right to put their hands on you,” she said.
Waukegan Police says that the incident is still under investigation and have yet to announce any of the attacker’s criminal charges nor their name.