A high school gym teacher in California is facing charges after being caught on camera dragging a 14-year-old girl into a swimming pool.
Students took out their cell phones and filmed as Stockton, California, physical education teacher Danny Paterson grabbed the teen girl by the arm and dragged her from the ground into the pool. The girl had reportedly refused to go into the pool because she had plans that night and didn’t want to mess up her hair, but Paterson didn’t seem to care and decided to force her to swim.
In the shocking 95-second clip, the girl can be seen flailing and kicking her legs in the air as the teacher grabs her and begins to drag her into the pool. As she screams to try and get him to stop, she can, at one point, be heard yelling to the educator that her bathing suit top was coming off.
“Regardless of her participation (in the class) it should disgust you how this man put his hands on a 14-year-old girl,” said attorney Gilbert Somera, the girl’s family’s attorney. “She said multiple times, 'my top is falling down.’”
The teacher has reportedly been placed on administrative leave as he is now facing a misdemeanor charge of corporal injury to a child.
“SUSD has taken appropriate action in this case,” the Stockton Unified School District said in a statement. “The teacher has been placed on paid administrative leave per district policy.”
Somera says that even though the student refused to get into the pool, the teacher had no right to put his hands on her the way he did.
“No means no and stop means stop,” said Somera. “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.”
The incident reportedly happened in late August and Paterson was immediately placed on leave for one month. Now, with the charges against him, the school has once again placed him on paid administrative leave.