Officials: 2 students face charges after punching guidance counselor in Asbury Park
News 12 has learned that a fight inside the Martin Luther King Jr. Middle School in Asbury Park ended with two students arrested and a guidance counselor sent to the hospital.
The incident happened on Friday, Oct. 20, just before dismissal.
Exclusive video taken inside the classroom appears to show a student punching guidance counselor John Venino. The video then shows Venino pushing the student out of the classroom. The teacher's union says Venino was taken to the hospital with an eye injury.
Police confirm with News 12 that two juvenile students were arrested and are being charged as juveniles in the incident. It was not clear what led to the confrontation.
In a statement, Superintendent Dr. RaShawn Adams says, "We hold our staff to the highest standards of conduct and professionalism, and we are deeply committed to ensuring that our schools provide a safe and respectful environment for all. Rest assured that we will not tolerate any behavior that jeopardizes the welfare of our students and our staff."
John Napolitani, president of the Asbury Park Education Association, told News 12, "The staff member was placed on administrative paid leave. Furthermore, as part of the protocol, IAIU is always contacted as it relates to the issue of this nature. Staff members should not be placed in harm's way in a school setting."
Police and the state Department of Family Institutional Abuse unit continue the investigation.