The first day of school is supposed to be filled with excitement for the new school year. At one California elementary school this week, that excitement was marred by violence after a parent attacked a teacher over face masks, reports NBC News. The incident at Sutter Creek Elementary School, located in Amador County, happened Wednesday, about an hour after school had let out for the day, per KCRA. Amador County Unified School District Superintendent Torie Gibson says that a male parent became agitated when he spotted his daughter walking out of school wearing a face mask and began verbally berating the school's principal. Gibson says that's when a male teacher intervened on the principal's behalf, which led to a physical altercation between the teacher and upset parent that left the teacher "bleeding."
The teacher ended up with "lacerations on his face, some bruising on his ... face, and a pretty good knot on the back of his head," per Gibson. All students in the district's schools are required to wear a face covering indoors unless they have a medical exemption, per school district policy, which is based on California Department of Public Health requirements. Gibson sent a letter to parents after the incident, noting that when the school year starts up, "there are always hiccups along the way, especially during this trying time." She then added that "assaulting a staff member will never be tolerated on any school campus" and asked people to "take a breath, pause, listen, and walk away if necessary." Gibson says the parent has been banned from campus, a police report has been filed, and the school district is conferring with the DA's office to see what's next. "If it's appropriate to press charges, we will do that," Gibson says, per KCRA. "If they tell me it's not appropriate, I will trust them." (Read more face masks stories.)