One teacher arrested, one injured
Thurgood Marshall incidents involved physical altercations.
By Jeremy P. Kelley
Staff Writer

In two separate incidents last week, one Thurgood Marshall High School teacher was arrested on a complaint of assault against a student, and another teacher was injured while trying to break up an altercation.

On Wednesday, art teacher Yolanda Brown, 54, was arrested at the high school on a complaint of misdemeanor assault against a 14-year male, according to a Dayton Police Department report.

Dayton Public School Superintendent Elizabeth Lolli would not comment on the incident, saying it remains under investigation.

Dayton teachers union President David Romick would only say that the union submitted a statement about the incident to the district, and Brown is on paid administrative leave pending the investigation.

Romick confirmed he was aware of a separate incident Tuesday, in which a different teacher was injured while trying to break up an altercation involving students. He said that teacher has been given materials to apply for assault leave under terms of the union’s contract.

Lolli again would not comment other than to say the incident was under investigation, and that school officials do not believe the two incidents were connected.

Romick said physical altercations involving older teens at a high school put teachers in a tough spot.

“There is a right thing to do. Teachers have a responsibility for ensuring the safety of other students and staff.

That’s where the line is,”

Romick said. “I can’t comment on exactly what happened, but if a teacher felt that other students or staff involved were in danger, and she stepped in to ensure the safety of students or staff, then that was the right thing to do.”

Dayton Public Schools has at least two security resource officers at each high school, but fights can develop quickly, and Romick said the SROs can’t be everywhere at once.

Lolli would not say whether any students have been arrested or disciplined as a result of either incident, citing privacy laws.

Asked whether there is a larger concern over safety or school climate at Thurgood Marshall, Romick said he’d rather wait for more details rather than “make a judgment prematurely either way.” But he said if a problem is present, the union would work with the district to address it.

Lolli dismissed any concern of a larger issue.

“There is no concern about the climate at Thurgood Marshall.

The students are in a safe and secure learning environment,” she said, adding, “School districts always analyze events to help evaluate processes. We are following the same procedures we normally follow.”