Waukegan teacher arrested for allegedly assaulting Jack Benny Middle School student

Liz Nagy Image
Wednesday, October 26, 2022
Waukegan teacher arrested for allegedly assaulting 14-year-old student
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A Waukegan substitute teacher was arrested Tuesday for allegedly beating a Jack Benny Middle School student during an altercation, police said.

WAUKEGAN, iLL. (WLS) -- Officials sat Jack Benny Middle School in Waukegan are investigating after a student says he was physically assaulted by a substitute teacher.

Brandon Cole, 14, has the marks of the encounter: a puffy, swollen eye, cuts and bruising on his face, more severe injuries to one hand.

"I'm really scared right now because my teacher hit me in the face. Broke my finger, bruised my face," he said.

Cole said the blows were taken from a substitute teacher in his science class Tuesday morning.

"He was having an argument with another student, and instead of breaking it up the teacher escalated it and ended up punching and assaulting him," said attorney Kevin O'Conner.

"He doesn't know how to take it. He's scared," said his mother Natasha Cade.

Cade spoke to the school board about the incident Tuesday night.

"Today a teacher assaulted my child," she told them. "I don't know whether to feel pissed off, confused, hurt. What I do know is that he needs to pay for whatever he's done."

"It took another teacher to come pull the actual assaulter off of him," said Clyde McClemore, executive director of Black Lives Matter Lake County (Illinois).

Waukegan police confirmed the male teacher has been arrested.

"Look at his face and tell me how you would act and how I should feel?" Cade demanded.

Moved by Cole's badly swollen face, board member Anita Hanna stepped off the dais and offered the teen a hug. He said he's now too scared to return to school. For that, the district's superintendent offered a personal assurance.

"What I can promise you and your family is that substitute will not be back," Theresa Plascencia said.

Waukegan police said the incident remains under investigation. No charges have been filed yet.