Students defend 62-year-old art teacher arrested for punching student during wild brawl at Australian high school

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Some students at an Australian high school are defending an art teacher who was arrested and charged over a wild brawl captured on video during which he punched an unruly student.

The incident unfolded at the Maitland Grossman High School on Tuesday at about 2 p.m.

Cellphone video showed the teacher, 62-year-old Michael Kable, throwing paper balls at some students, who throw them back. The interaction became physical and at some point, a student threw a table at him.

The bell rang and students began to file out of the classroom when Kable apparently grabbed one student and punched him in the face.

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Kable was charged with simple assault and granted a conditional bail. He was also suspended from teaching. Police said the student was not seriously injured.

A petition claimed that important context was missing from the video of the incident.

“Throughout his career Mr Kable has suffered from numerous and countless amounts of verbal and physical abuse from students,” read the petition. “But due to the weak and inconsistent school punishment system they only get a ‘slap on the wrist’ as punishment.”

The writer of the petition said that students purposely misbehave in order to be suspended from attending school. Other students protested at the school with signs of support for Kable. The petition garnered more than 6,250 signatures at the time of publishing.

The family of the student assaulted released a statement about the altercation.

“We definitely do not condone the behaviour of the boys,” said the student’s mother. “This does not change the fact that a teacher never ever has the right to lay a hand on a student.”

Kable is scheduled to appear in court in April 6.

Here’s a local news report about the incident:

Teacher charged after violent brawl with student | 9 News

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