The principal of Arlington's Wakefield High School has recommended the expulsion of four students who were suspended after a fight this fall in which a teacher was knocked to the ground and struck several times.
At last night's School Board meeting, math teacher Caroline Upperco, speaking for more than 100 Wakefield staff members who signed a petition on the issue, urged the School Board to accept Principal Dennis Hill's recommendation.
While principals or the superintendent may suggest expelling students, only the School Board may make that decision.
Daniel Brown, director of school and community relations, said no students have been expelled from the Arlington school system since he joined the administration in 1971.
Paul Moran, president of the Arlington Education Association, which represents most of the county's teachers, also urged last night, on behalf of the AEA's seven member executive board, that "the offenders in the Wakefield incident be expelled."
Four students at the South Arlington high school, all of whom are juveniles, were suspended for 10 days, the maximum a principal can impose, after the Oct. 19 incident.
Superintendent Charles E. Nunley said he then authorized Hill to refuse the students readmittance to Wakefield pending further action.
One of the youths was charged with assault and battery several weeks after the incident, according to Arlington police.
Police said math teacher Louis Goffredi, 40, was knocked down from behind and hit several times before a crowd of 70 students when he tried to break up a fight between two students.
Police said Goffredi could not identify any of his assailants and that because the incident happened so quickly it was hard to determine how many students were involved.
School officials have said a fifth youth, who did not attend Wakefield, was also involved in the incident.
Police said some witnesses told them Goffredi was not immediately recognized as a teacher when he entered the crowd.
Also at last night's meeting, the board reversed a previous decision and voted to allocate 77 new Apple IIe computers to the elementary schools without taking into account any Apple computers already in the schools.
The board decided to put four computers in each of the county's 18 elementary schools and two in the Jackson special education center, holding three in reserve. More computers will be added in subsequent years until there is one in each classroom.