School behavioral specialist lifts teenage student by the neck (VIDEO)
Joseph Golden, 50, is facing charges of misdemeanor simple assault and endangering the welfare of a child over an incident at a school in the Woodland Hills School District in Allegheny County, Pennsylvania.
Golden, an employee of the Woodland Hills Promise Alternative School in Rankin – a specialist school for students with academic and behavioral problems – has been suspended for the April 12 confrontation.
Video of the incident was presented as evidence at a preliminary hearing.
Golden’s defense attorney said the victim suffered no injuries and that his client was simply doing his job by trying to keep order.
“From what I saw, all he did was grab him and take him down the hall. He didn’t choke him. He picked him up around the neck and shoulder,” defense attorney Pat Thomassey said.
“The kid didn’t go to the hospital, he didn’t go to the doctor, he told the principal he wasn’t hurt. This isn’t a simple assault.”
The district magistrate decided the case should go to trial after viewing the footage, reports CBS Pittsburgh.
The incident is the latest in a series of controversies to hit Woodlands Hills. Investigations are underway into two other alleged assaults in the school district.
A PR company has been contracted by the school district to deal with the succession of negative incidents, a move heavily criticized by Braddock Mayor John Fetterman on Twitter.