PLEASANT HILL, Calif. – Anti-Trump high school protesters ignited a scuffle at College Park High School Thursday that led to several teachers getting roughed up by the unruly teens.
At least one teacher was punched and shoved as a large crowd of protestors from other area schools descended on College Park in an attempt to recruit students there to the massive walkout, KTVU reports.
A video posted online shows “Dr. Thomas” being thrashed around in a school hallway by several students, some of whom can be seen landing blows on the teacher as others screamed for them to stop.
“That teacher and the other teacher that got punched were trying to block the hall but it didn’t work out,” student Armon Aziz told the news site.
Principal Joseph Alvarez said police alerted school officials that a mob of protesting students – carrying Mexican flags and anti-Trump signs — were heading toward the school, and he sent out a notice to teachers to allow students to do what they will.
School officials also warned protestors to be peaceful, and did not lock the gates to the school to prevent them from coming in.
“When we heard from Pleasant Hill Police we had about 15 or 20 minutes before students arrived on campus, so at that time I sent an email to all the teachers saying that this is a possibility and to please not bar students from leaving but to take account of who they are,” Alvarez told KTVU. “We provide students the opportunity to express themselves but I do not condone at any time when you impede educational progress at any campus.”
The melee occurred around 11 a.m. while classes were in session, and involved about 200 students from numerous area schools. A second teacher who came to Dr. Thomas’ aid was also attacked, according to the Pleasant Hill Patch.
Alvarez said the attacks occurred shortly after he instituted a lockdown and teachers closed classroom doors.
“I have accounts from the teacher and students,” Alvarez told KGO-TV. “We are taking it seriously and looking at the entirety of the investigation.”
“Hopefully we’ll be able to identify the student in that video,” he said.
Students said the scene was chaotic and terrifying.
“Everybody was kind of trampling each other, so everybody just went at everybody,” an unidentified female student told KTVU.
The teacher attacked in the video declined to comment about the brawl but told the news site he did not suffer serious injuries.
An unidentified College Park teacher told KGO-TV her college who was attacked Thursday is “beloved” at the school.