Police in Springfield, MA, are searching for 18-year-old Steven Jerel Malloy after Malloy punched a disabled substitute teacher in the face three times on Tuesday at the High School of Science and Technology. Malloy refused to produce his school identification badge when asked to do so, became agitated for being detained while administrative staff responded, and assaulted the teacher.
Malloy is being sought to answer to the charges of assault and battery on an elderly or disabled person, assault and battery on a public employee and disturbing lawful assembly, according to The Republican
While police are not disclosing the 52-year old victim's identity, students reported that he is known as "Mr. Millis" who suffered a stroke years ago and walks with a limp. The victim was treated and released from a local hospital. Malloy was positively identified by witnesses from his student file photo.
The assault was condemned by students at the school who are asking for stronger security. However, administrative officials are focusing on ways to gain compliance from students to wear their student ID tags.
In a letter from School Committee member Antonette E. Pepe to the Science and Technology Superintendent Joseph P. Burke on Wednesday, Pepe stated that the majority of students aren’t wearing badges for various reasons such as leaving them home, carrying them in their pockets, and students cant afforded the badge holders. Pepe wrote, "These excuses are ridiculous and unacceptable," and further wrote that Burke should "act immediately". Burke was scheduled to attend a meeting Thursday with principals to discuss the failure of students to wear their badges.
While substitute teachers are not represented, the Springfield Education Association spoke out against the broader concern, the act of violence, and union President Timothy P. Collins said, "I would hope that a principal would recommend an expulsion. ... We need to send a clear message that this kind of violent unprovoked attack is something that this school district will not tolerate."