Teacher claims on the job assault, sues DOE - KUAM.com-KUAM News: On Air. Online. On Demand.

Teacher claims on the job assault, sues DOE

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by Lannie Walker

Guam - A teacher is taking the Department of Education to court over injuries he sustained over a decade ago.  "I saw him in the air and he strike me with his feet; he give me a flying kick, a blow to the chest," relayed Leodegario Capulong.  

He describes an attack that changed his life, recalling how in May 2000 he was working as an English teacher at JFH High School when he says he confronted a freshman student.  "He didn't even give me a chance to speak," he said.  "While I was standing there someone pushed me and beat me in the head."

Capulong says he was defending a female student who was allegedly being sexually assaulted by a male student.  He continued, "Instead of listening to me, he pulled one of the chairs and throw it and what he can he throwing it inside the classroom [sic]."

Capulong alleges he tried to defend himself as two students beat him in the hallway outside his classroom.  "When I saw him he attack me again; after he kick me I was already dizzy and having pain here I block his feet," he said.

But that wasn't enough to stop the damage - the attack left him with permanent mental and physical injuries.  He remembered, "From my spine all the way down the back injury now suffering from anxiety attacks."

Capulong eventually returned briefly to teaching but claims he was fired without cause.  He is now suing the Department of Education, saying, "I am suing them to for all those damages I incurred from the injuries."

His is also suing for backpay and to be reinstated to a teaching position.  He filed a complaint in March in District Court.  In July the Attorney General's Office filed a motion to dismiss the case, citing a lack of personal jurisdiction over DOE, failure by the plaintiff to state a claim upon which relief can be granted and failure by the plaintiff to abide by federal and local rules of procedure.

Capulong admits he was not clear of the proper legal procedures when he first filed the compliant, but says he is seeking legal counsel and plans to file another complaint against DOE, which he says is responsible for his injuries.  He explained, "Because what was treacherously done to me because what was done to me was real hard and strong."

According to Capulong, neither of the teenagers faced criminal charges.

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