Alleged attack has principal staying home from school

The principal of a San Francisco charter school has not returned to campus in two weeks after a 14-year-old student allegedly attacked him in his office.

The City Arts and Technology High School student, who was sent to the principal’s office after fighting with a student on the Ingleside campus, was “very angry” when Principal Joshua Brankman told him, about 1 p.m., that he couldn’t leave campus, according to police reports. When the student tried to leave anyway, the principal attempted to restrain him and the conflict escalated.

The teenager allegedly knocked over books and office equipment in Brankman’s office and then began shoving the principal and trying to choke him, according to police spokesman Sgt. Steve Mannina. The teenager then picked up a coffee mug with a broken handle, shoved it at him and cut Brankman’s hand.

Brankman, while not hurt seriously enough to require immediate medical attention from the Jan. 10 attack, is working from home as he recovers, according to Bob Lenz, founder and chief education officer of Envision Schools, which operates the five-year-old City Arts and Technology High School.

Several employees are trained to deal with student behavioral issues, Lenz said, adding that Brankman specifically was trained in conflict resolution. The San Francisco Unified School District, while having ultimate oversight for charter schools, does not manage the day-to-day operations, according to a district spokesperson.

“Our schools are really small, there’s a great community and they’re extremely safe,” Lenz said. “This is an unfortunate incident.”

The student, who is from Petaluma, was arrested by two Taraval Station officers and taken to the Youth Guidance Center, according to Mannina. He faces charges of felony aggravated assault and malicious mischief.

bbegin@examiner.com  

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