A Rogers High School teacher says his life is still not back to normal after he was assaulted by a 17-year-old student last fall.
Matthew Brayman missed six months of work after a student punched him in the head — creating a 3-inch laceration over his right eye, a concussion and a diagnoses of Post Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD).
Brayman said the problem is no longer his physical wounds, but a financial issue. Despite doctors' recommendations that he should not return to school, the department stopped paying him after a couple of months, without notice or explanation. The teacher estimates he is owed around $15,000 of back-wages.
“There was a settlement reached midway to the summer, but it just never was followed through on,” said the teacher. “It seems as though they just decided that I must be better, so they weren't going to pay me.”
He said the school called in February and asked if he could return to work. Shortly after the call, they stopped paying his salary, said Brayman.
"I understand that they wanted to save money, but I wasn't cleared to return to work," said the teacher. "I just don't understand it because they never had a doctor examine me."
The IncidentOn Nov. 27 2012, the student, who had recently returned from his third suspension, started a fight with another student in the VocTech program, said Brayman. Brayman and another teacher physically broke up the fight and called his parents.
Brayman's class was an afterschool Alternative Learning Program (ALP). The student stayed in the classroom with the 12 other students while they waited for his mother. When she arrived, his mother asked her son to apologize to the teacher.
“The next thing I knew the kid was flying across the room and hit me in the head,” he recalled.
The other teachers restrained the student and called police.
The injured teacher took himself to the hospital and received six stitches. The next day he felt unwell, went back to the doctor and was diagnosed with a concussion.
Brayman said there was “very little communication” from the school.
“I walked out of school that day. I never got a phone call. It just seemed strange to me,” he said. “There wasn't a whole a lot of support. I felt left behind by the school department.”
He said in addition to the physical injury, the thought of going back to the classroom was overwhelming.
He went to therapist who diagnosed him with PTSD. “I had never been through emotional distress
before. I didn't have a good night sleep
until April,” said Brayman.
Brayman said the said the school paid him for a period, exhausted his sick pay, and eventually stopped paying him by February.
The school policy, Article XIII – Personal Injury Benefits, states:
whenever a teacher is absent from school as a result of a personal injury caused by an assault or accident occurring in the course of his/her employment and arising through no fault of his/her own, he /she shall be paid his/her full salary for the period of such absence up to one year from the date of injury, and no part of absence shall be charged to his/her annual sick leave.
“The kid was arrested for assault. I was assaulted,” he said about the policy.
Now that he has returned to work, Brayman said he has yet to receive an explanation for why the school stopped paying his salary.
“It’s frustrating. I’d like just to get back to work,” said the teacher. “The lack of support is almost as devastating as the injury.”
Newport Superintendent John Ambrogi said he was unable to comment on the matter as it is a personnel issue.
Brayman said he hopes the school will resolve the issue so he can move forward.
great to be back," said the teacher. "I missed the
kids. I missed my fellow teachers. And I missed being part of Newport Public