CHARLESTON, SC (WCSC) - School district policies allow teachers to be used as punching bags by students, according to a Charleston attorney who has represented teachers in lawsuits.
Larry Kobrovsky made his comments two days after a student was charged with punching a teacher in the face at Ashley Ridge High School in Dorchester County.
Eighteen year old Marcus Goodwine was arrested by Dorchester County deputies.
Investigators say Goodwine had scratches on his face and the teacher had to have stitches in her mouth.
Kobrovsky says if the teacher was attacked first, she should have been allowed to fight back.
However he says most of the time, teachers are afraid to defend themselves.
"Absolutely, because they are afraid of the consequences," Kobrovsky said. "I represented a teacher in a downtown middle school where a student tried to strangle him and for knocking the kid's hands away he was punished for excessive force."
Kobrovsky says teachers need to be protected and a good start would be to bring back grades for conduct on report cards.
"I would ask you give conduct grades back with enforcement. The same way you don't get promoted from one grade to the next unless you know the academic. You don't get promoted unless you know how to behave."
We checked with school districts in the Tri County area to find out if they have policies that allow teachers to defend themselves if they are attacked.
Berkeley County officials said there is a code of conduct that parents and students have to sign at the beginning of the school year.
A spokeswoman also said all staff members are trained how to intervene in the event of a fight.
Dorchester County District Two officials would only say they are investigating the alleged assault at Ashley Ridge High.
We are still waiting to hear back from the Charleston County School District.