By Kate Raddatz

MINNEAPOLIS (WCCO) — A 16-year-old St. Paul student is accused of body slamming and choking his high school teacher last Friday at Central High School.

The Ramsey County Attorney’s Office charged Fon’Tae O’Bannon with felony third-degree assault Tuesday.

O’Bannon allegedly slammed the teacher into a cafeteria table and chair when the teacher tried intervening in a fight. The student then choked him until he was unconscious.

The incident is the latest in a string of violent assaults against teachers in St. Paul schools. This is the 27th case of a juvenile assaulting a school official this year, according to Ramsey County Attorney John Choi. That number is nearly double from last year.

“The fact that these incidents involving students assaulting teachers across the county have been increasing at a really alarming rate,” Choi said.

District Superintendent Valeria Silva says O’Bannon started at Central High School in September but she was unaware if he had behavioral issues before that.

She said it is ultimately going to take teamwork with students, teachers and parents to figure out a solution.

“We as a school district take the precautions that we can and we do the discipline, such as suspension or ultimately expulsion,” Silva said. “We have a common goal, which is we are all here to ensure safety in our schools.”

The teacher that was assaulted was hospitalized for brain damage and a concussion.

There has not been an expulsion in St. Paul schools since 2009.

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