A California physical education teacher has been charged with corporal injury to a child after video surfaced of him attempting to throw a 14-year-old girl into the pool during his class, News10 reports.
On the video — taken by another student — Edison High School P.E. teacher Denny Peterson can be seen dragging the girl toward the pool while she yells, “My top is falling down.”
The lawyer representing her, Gilbert Somera, admitted that the girl was lying about her reason for not wanting to go in the pool — she had had her hair done earlier that day for an event she was attending that evening and didn’t want it ruined — before adding that it was immaterial to the way in which she was treated, given the claim she was making.
“Regardless of her participation, it should disgust you how this man put his hands on a 14-year-old girl. She said multiple times, ‘My top is falling down,'” he said.
“‘No’ means ‘no’ and ‘stop’ means ‘stop,'” Somera continued. “This isn’t a situation where she’s attacking a teacher and he’s defending himself. When a woman or a 14-year-old girl says ‘no,’ it means ‘no.'”
Moreover, he said, Peterson had the option of punishing her academically for her refusal to participate.
Peterson was put on leave after the incident, but was later reinstated at another Stockton Unified School District campus. After being alerted by News10 that charges had been filed against him, however, the district again placed Peterson on leave.
In a statement, the district said that it “has taken appropriate action in this case. The teacher has been placed on paid administrative leave per district policy.”
Watch a report on the incident via News10 below.