High school student dragged to swimming pool by teacher speaks out



An incident that took place over the summer in a central California high school is making waves again after a leaked cellphone video shows details of the episode.

The student, who has sought legal representation, is now speaking out.

The jittery video shot by a classmate shows 14-year-old Sandra Garcia being dragged by a teacher to a swimming pool – she reportedly refused to go in that day because she had just had her hair done.

“I swam laps like the teacher asked but I did not want my hair wet,” the student told FOX40. “My hair looked good that day.”

She added that she wanted her hair to look good during cheer practice later that day.

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In an interview with USA Today, her lawyer Gilbert Somera said it is shameful that the physical ed teacher forced her even when she is heard saying repeatedly that the top of her two-piece bathing suit is falling down.

"Regardless of her participation (in the class) it should disgust you how this man put his hands on a 14-year-old girl,” he told the newspaper.

The teacher, identified as Denny Peterson, has a 10-year history with the Stockton Unified School District (SUSD), in central California, and is facing a charge of corporal injury to a child, according to Somera.

Peterson was first transferred to another school and was put on paid leave last week, only after the video surfaced.

"SUSD has taken appropriate action in this case. The teacher has been placed on paid administrative leave per district policy," a district official said in a statement.

However, Garcia’s attorney says Peterson should not have put a hand on the girl. The video shows he even asks other students to help him: "somebody tickle her," he is heard saying in the 95-second video.

"No means no and stop means stop. This isn't a situation where she's attacking a teacher and he's defending himself. When a woman or a 14-year-old girl says no, it means no," he said.

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