NEW HAVEN, Conn. (WTNH) — A teacher faces charges after she allegedly had an altercation with a student at a magnet school in New Haven.
Police arrested and charged 49-year-old Jennifer Wells-Jackson with risk of injury to a minor and second-degree breach of peace.
Officers responded to the King/Robinson Interdistrict Magnet School on Fournier Street on Tuesday around 3:45 p.m. for the report of an assault. Investigators then learned of the alleged altercation between Wells-Jackson and a 12-year-old student.
Wells-Jackson is accused of pulling the student by the hair.
In a video captured inside Destinique James’ classroom, the teacher is holding her by the hair as students cry for her to let go. She eventually does, appearing to push the student’s head in the process.
Her mom, Destinie James, said her daughter told her the intercom had just gone off dismissing them when it happened and she left school with a headache. She told News 8 she is disgusted.
“There’s certain things you say and there’s certain things you don’t say, there’s certain things you do and certain things you’re not supposed to do especially when dealing with people’s children,” Destinie said. “At the end of the day, there’s no justification for putting your hands on someone’s child.”
Destinie is still processing what happened and feels whatever happened in the classroom could have been handled differently.
The student did not report any serious injuries and declined medical attention, police said.
Justin Harmon, the director of marketing and communications for New Haven Public Schools, told News 8 on Tuesday the district takes student safety very seriously, adding the school and district are fully cooperating with the New Haven Police Department’s investigation.
Wells-Jackson was released on a $20,000 bond. She is expected to make her first appearance in court next week.
A source close to the district told News 8 Wells-Jackson “is a great person, a veteran educator and a community activist” who served on the executive board of the city’s Federation of Teachers for years and remains involved as a representative for the literacy community.
News 8 tried reaching out to Wells-Jackson but have not yet heard back.
Her arrest marks the fourth of a teacher in the school district since November.