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Teacher accused of pulling student by the hair during altercation at New Haven magnet school

By ROB POLANSKY, SHARON JOHNSON

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    NEW HAVEN, Connecticut (WFSB) — An altercation between a teacher and a student at a magnet school in New Haven led to the teacher being charged.

Police said they charged 49-year-old Jennifer Wells-Jackson with risk of injury to a minor and second-degree breach of peace.

This is the fourth time a New Haven Public Schools staff member has been arrested in the last three months.

Three of those incidents were altercations with students.

One incident involved a staff member bringing a gun to school.

The incident happened at the King Robinson Magnet School on Fournier Street on Tuesday around 3:45 p.m.

Officers said the call came in as a reported assault.

They said they learned that the altercation involved Wells-Jackson and the 12-year-old student.

Wells-Jackson was accused of pulling the student by the hair.

The student did not report any serious injuries and declined medical attention.

“I really don’t have anything against the school system, but I do have something against if you’re putting your hand on a child,” said James Norfleet. “Yes, it should concern me because you never know what people are thinking of or actually going to do.”

Norfleet’s grandchild goes to Truman Street School.

That’s where 46-year-old Paul Vercillo was arrested in November after police say he assaulted a student.

In December, a video posted on social media showed an Edgewood School Student Throwing Chairs, then a teacher grabbing and throwing him.

42-year-old Deron Beasley was arrested in that incident.

In January, paraprofessional Sonnetta Powell was arrested for bringing a gun to Brennan-Rogers Magnet School.

Mike Hines stated, “I think there’s no consequences or repercussions for crazy acts to make people think twice.”

Tajah Jackson’s children attend Edgewood School where 42-year-old Deron Beasley was arrested in December.

“I think they just need to hire better teachers. Ones that are made to work with children that won’t get angry so fast,” said Jackson.

She says the recent incidents concern her, but she doesn’t want to see teachers sent to prison. “I feel like they shouldn’t work in the school system anymore.”

Jackson continued, “as a parent it’s kind of concerning because you don’t want your kids to think that they’re in danger going to school. So as a principal, as everybody on the board, we need to work together as parents, teachers, staff to get this under control.”

Wells-Jackson was taken to police headquarters.

She was held on a $20,000 bond.

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