Former Idaho Falls teacher facing charges after allegedly slamming and pinning student
This story courtesy of EastIdahoNews.com. It is used here with permission –
IDAHO FALLS – A former teacher is expected to face a jury trial in April for allegedly assaulting a student more than a year ago, according to court documents.
On Feb. 11, 2021, former Eagle Rock Middle School teacher Jared Emfield, 46, slammed a student against a wall, then threatened him while pinning him to the ground, according to police reports.
But Emfield’s attorney, Allen Browning, says the teacher was only acting in self-defense to avoid being hit by an out-of-control student.
The incident occurred outside Emfield’s classroom, which was in a manufactured trailer on the north side of the school. Following the incident, an officer spoke with the school’s assistant principal, who provided details about the conflict.
The student, whose name was redacted in the police report, was with an adult aide throughout the fight with Emfield.
The assistant principal told the officer the argument between Emfield and the student began when the student said he did not want to do an assignment Emfield had planned.
“(The student) and Jared began to argue in the classroom,” the assistant principal told the officer. “(The student) has struggled in the past to control his emotions when confronted with conflict. (The student’s) behavior plan includes exiting a classroom before the conflict turns physical.”
There were about 20 students in the classroom. As Emfield and the student reportedly continued to argue, the aide intervened and took the student outside.
Emfield is alleged to have followed them outside the door that enters the main school building. The assistant principal said Emfield “body-slammed (the student) near the exterior door just outside of the building.” The aide tried to intervene, and Emfield threatened him as well, the report says.
Additional context was provided in separate conversations with the student and his aide.
The student told the officer Emfield yelled at him and called him a punk as he and the aide got up to leave. The student had told Emfield he didn’t want to do the assignment. The student said he left when Emfield told him he still had to do it.
“(The student) yelled at Jared and flipped him off,” the officer writes in his report.
The aide also said Emfield later was taunting the student to fight by the words he was using.
Emfield said he would get the school resource officer if the student touched him, the aide told police.
“(The aide) … told Jared, ‘The same goes for you,’” the officer writes. “Jared followed him and got in his face near the brick wall by the exterior door going into the school. (The student) said Jared was so close to him, he lifted his forearm up in an attempt to create some space.”
The student allegedly touched Emfield and gave him a slight push so he would back away, and that’s when Emfield grabbed the student’s arms and pushed him into the brick wall.
“Jared threw him on the ground and then sat on him,” according to the police report. “(The student) said his head was against the outside door. He explained the door was propping and pushing his head up and it hurt his neck.”
While Emfield was reportedly sitting on the student, the aide touched Emfield on the shoulder to get his attention and said Emfield couldn’t treat students like this.
“Jared looked at (the aide) and said, ‘If you touch me again, I will break your arm,’” the police report says.
Emfield allegedly got off the student and allowed him to stand once the student started apologizing.