Teacher punched in classroom attack

A teacher was punched to the ground and kicked in the stomach by a 15-year-old student in a classroom assault at John Gray High School. 

The Year 11 student has been suspended from school, according to police investigating the incident. 

The teacher suffered a “burst lip” in the attack but did not require hospital treatment.  

Shirley Wahler, chief education officer for the Cayman Islands, said the school took swift disciplinary action in the wake of the assault at John Gray on March 26. She said the matter had been referred to the police and charges had been filed against the student. 

“A male Year 11 student engaged in disruptive and aggressive behavior in class, culminating in an assault on the classroom teacher. A security guard was called, intervened in the confrontation and removed the offending student,” Ms Wahler said in a statement to the Compass. 

She said incident had been dealt with “in accordance with the school’s behavior policy” but declined to say precisely what action had been taken. 

According to police, the teacher was initially threatened with a pencil after attempting to speak to the boy about his disruptive behavior in class.  

“The teacher continued to request that the student sit and do class work, but was ignored and the disruptive behavior continued, causing the teacher to open the classroom door and ask the student to leave,” police said in a statement. 

“When he was exiting through the door, he punched the teacher in his face, which burst his lip. The teacher then fell to the ground where the student proceeded to kick him in his stomach. 

“The student has been suspended from school. The matter was reported to the police and is currently being investigated.” 


  1. And the Education Department are now scratching their heads saying I wonder why teachers are not returning Let’s appoint a Royal Commission to investigate it.
    Mr. Editor, it would be interesting to know if this person was an Expat or Caymanian.
    It would also be interesting to follow up with Mrs. Wahler to see if the behavior code is available for your review.

  2. This is a story for all parents and teachers to be concerned about. Cayman has changed, families have changed which has caused students to have bad behavior and taking it outside the home. If the home is not at peace within families and has no discipline set down for their children, then the child WILL take his bad behavior to another level.
    Then the question comes to our minds – what do we do? I truly believe that there are many retired police who are still able to police these high level classrooms. Give them a few hours a day to sit in and keep peace and order in these High Level class rooms. Maybe just knowing that the presence of an adult watchman is in there may change their thoughts. The security guards need to police the outside. Just a thought.

  3. The Year 11 student has been suspended from school, not expelled? No wonder the kids on this island are out of control, no-one is prepared to give punishment which fits the crime. When I was growing up, a lot less than this was grounds for expulsion!

  4. He needs to be suspended for good and sent to finish his education at Northward or some type of boot camp ran by people who he wouldn’t even attempt to do this to. Any student that would punch a teacher has no respect for the opportunity to get an education so he should lose that option allowing the teachers to focus on those that do.

  5. I hope he is charged and properly punished for this. With all the stories I hear nowadays, it sounds like children have absolutely no respect for their teachers anymore. I also cannot believe he only got suspended! I feel that is grounds for expulsion.

  6. This is flat out horrific and those not shocked and outraged need to re-examine their value system. The assault on the teacher by this 15 year old must be dealt with as all the other students are watching.
    Imagine the daily disruption this 15 year old must cause to distract the other students from learning.

  7. Ms. Oliver: 50/50 odds. He may be charged and receive a sentence, so light as to be considered non-punishment. Alternatively, the teacher will be prevailed upon in some way to withdraw his complaint. Wait for the usual round of mitigating factors to appear in a social inquiry report.
    Mr. King: Nationality is irrelevant. A) The student ought not to assault anybody. I am tired of the Ex-pats don’t connect to our children on a social/cultural level, our students don’t relate to ex-pat teachers arguments. B) A student compelled to assault somebody doesn’t say to himself, Gee, I should refrain from hitting my fellow Caymanian, but hey, hitting an ex-pat is OK. If he wants to assault someone, that’s what he’ll do. Man, woman, a classmate, a helpless animal-it makes no difference. Expelling his rage is his sole imperative.
    Mr. Davis: You raise an excellent argument. We ought to have a military style intervention program for our youth. Similar programs elsewhere in the world have proven beneficial to society.
    Ms. Vargas: If my memory serves – they used to have actual police officers on the high school campuses as community liaison personnel. I’m not sure when or if that stopped. If it has, it was likely due to government and the budget cuts.

  8. Len, why in the world does it matter if the teacher was an Expat or Caymanian, a student shouldn’t attack a teacher no matter where they are from. If the teacher was not a Caymanian that by no means justifies this nor should it downplay it in any way. This same type of attitude from many parents is why a lot of kids are so jacked up today. Always finding ridiculous excuses for their criminal behavior. If I had even thought about doing something like this to one of my teachers I would have probably been safer in Jail than at home with my father because he would have been all over me. But that was obviously a different time in history when there were different types of parents.

  9. Lisa/Michael
    It appears that my comments were not clear enough. I agree that it should have nothing to do with it.
    To clarify, the treatment afforded the teacher will be different if they are an expat or Caymanian.
    Somehow, some way, this will be the teacher’s fault. And you can take that to the bank. Simply follow up on it!

  10. Len, I think I see what you mean. You are suggesting that the way this is handled and investigated will be different if the teacher is an Expat or a Caymanian. I guess I can see how that could happen, I certainly hope that the Compass is able to follow the story and keep us informed. As far as I am concerned he should already be behind bars, not just suspended from school, but I suspect this is the last we will hear of it and he’ll be back in school terrorizing students and teachers alike.
    Thanks for the clarity regarding your statement..

  11. He should be expelled for this cowardly attack. Suspension doesn’t fit the offence. A strong message has to be sent that this type of behavior will not be tolerated. It was a sad day when them fools took discipline out of the school.

  12. Free education – Right or Privilege?
    This sort of behaviour should lose a student the privilege of a free education – if the parents know that they have to fund a private school in the event of an expulsion, there may be a stronger message to the student from home as to what is acceptable behaviour.
    This incident was too dramatic to be ignored, but I doubt it was an isolated event, more typically it would be the culmination of an escalating series of antisocial behaviour against his peers which was not corrected at the time – the classmates quality of education is reduced by such ill-disciplined individuals.

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