SOUTH BEND, Ind. -- A teacher at John Adams High School has reportedly been on paid leave since a scuffle with a student last week.
NewsCenter 16 received a copy of a video showing an altercation between a student and a teacher in a stairwell of the high school, the student appeared to have shoved the teacher and a physical struggle ensued.
School officials confirm there was an incident at John Adams last week and that an investigation followed. However, officials will not name the teacher involved because it is a matter of personnel.
Students and parents confirmed that the teacher involved was Heath Weaver, a social studies instructor and moderator of John Adams' mock trial. When asked for a comment, Weaver's wife directed NewsCenter 16's towards South Bend School Corporation's spokesperson.
Several students who witnessed the incident said that Weaver had tried to break up a fight between two boys and called for back up. They also noted that the student shown in the video got aggressive and loud with Weaver as the pair stood on the stairwell.
The cell phone video first shows Weaver and the student pacing on the landing of the stairway, with Weaver attempting to prevent the student from walking away by blocking his path.
The student repeatedly yells "don't touch me" as Weaver stands in his way. However, the video doesn't show the teacher laying a hand on the student until that student began to shove his way towards the lower staircase.
In a muffled voice, Weaver tells the student to stay put until the security guard arrives. Moments later the student and teacher tumble down the stairs and Weaver successfully pins the student down.
Students who witnessed the altercation allege that the student shoved Weaver down the stairs in an attempt to get away. The crowd of onlookers started throwing paper and food items at the teacher as he tried to subdue the student.
After talking to the South Bend Community School Corporation about the video we received, they stated that the incident has been investigated.
A number of parents are writing a letter to the school corporation in support of Weaver. They believe he was placed in a difficult disciplinary situation and don't see him at fault.
Others have commented online against what Weaver did, claiming that physical responses are never appropriate.
South Bend Schools would not confirm that the teacher in question is Heath Weaver because of privacy rules governing personnel. Spokesperson for SBSC Sue Coney was able to confirm that Heath Weaver is still an employee for the district and, as far as she knew, would be in the classroom Friday.
If the name Weaver sounds familiar, it's because the teacher is no stranger to controversy.
In 2007, as a St. Joseph County Councilman, Weaver was charged with public intoxication and resisting arrest, and not a DUI as NewsCenter 16 incorrectly reported Wednesday evening. He resigned his full time teaching position at Marian High School following the arrest.
Weaver's attorney said the charges were later dismissed as part of a pre-trial diversion.