GROSSE ILE TWP. Mich. (WJBK) - A middle school teacher is being investigated for assaulting a student and has been accused of hitting a pupil before.
Tuesday it was class as usual inside Grosse Ile Middle School but a familiar face gone. Grosse Ile Township police say they're investigating a teacher for the assault and battery of an 8th grade male student on May 11.
While the details of the incident are not being released, one of the teacher's former students is not immediately surprised by the allegation.
"I can understand, he was a little aggressive in his teaching style I'd say," said former student Chris DeAngelas. "But I wouldn't call him someone who would assault a student."
While the teacher was not available for comment Tuesday, Superintendent Joanne Lelekatch of Grosse Ile Township Schools told FOX 2:
"In cases such as this, our first priority is to follow policies and procedures that ensure the safety and support of our students, as well as protecting the rights of our staff members.
"This is why we promptly took steps regarding a paid leave of absence for the person in question."
This isn't the first time this teacher has been accused of assaulting a student. Back in 2013, a child says he hit him in the head with textbooks.
According to court records back in May of 2013, a student says he was balancing books on his head and says the teacher slammed them down for misbehaving.
The teacher was put on paid leave, then fired. But later the teacher was reinstated and given back-pay after winning an appeal - stating he only bumped the child and was "kidding around," with no intention to hurt him.
"He would go around and tap them on the head with a book if the kids was messing around," DeAngelas said. "I don't think he intended to hurt the kid."
Court records also show the teacher had been reprimanded three times before then for embarrassing students. As police continue their investigation, district officials continue to emphasize they cannot comment or speculate any further on this incident.
"If it was something like they felt like they had legitimately been hurt," DeAngelas said. "I guess they would have to take this a little more seriously."