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Student held in alleged attack on teacher, classmate

Morehead A senior at West High School in Torrance was in custody and facing assault and arson charges Friday after allegedly attacking his teacher and a classmate.

Jessie Morehead, 18, is accused of lighting a roll of paper towels on fire and throwing it as his teacher and then stabbing a female classmate Wednesday afternoon, said Torrance police Sgt. Jeremiah Hart.

The incident, first reported by the Daily Breeze, occurred about 1:30 p.m. Morehead, who was in custody Friday, is facing charges of assault with a deadly weapon, attempted arson and possession of a weapon on campus, Hart said.

The alleged confrontation began at the start of the class period when Morehead’s teacher told him to sit down. Morehead then lit the paper towel and "made a comment to the effect of 'this is what I think about your class,' " Hart said.

The teacher called security and ordered the rest of the class to evacuate the room. But before the students left, Morehead allegedly grabbed a female classmate and began stabbing her with a knife. The blade tore through her jacket and shirt, but only scratched her torso, producing a minor laceration, authorities said.

Morehead also allegedly struck his teacher when she tried to restrain him, Hart said. At that point, a male student rushed over and tackled Morehead. The male student pinned him down until authorities arrived.

Hart said the incident was "very unusual" for West High, which has more than 2,000 students.


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Photo: Jessie Morehead. Credit: Torrance Police Department

Comments () | Archives (22)

Kids these days.

Not unusual when you consider the bashing and demonization of teachers. And busing only works when the kids being bused in have been raised properly and appreciate the opportunity to attend a school like West High. I remember when some of our students in south LA were bused to Fairfax and all were kicked out within 6 months. Its the parenting.

Kudos to the student who tackled him and pinned him down.
Couldn't have been too hard. Morehead acts like a pathetic coward.

What the hell was his problem?

Will the teacher's "value added" score take this into consideration?

LAUSD Teacher - I don't see in the article where it says anything about busing.

LA Times why did you censor my comment?
Am I not PC enough for you? Sorry!

And the story describes him as a "student?"
That's using the word student very loosely!

Let's see how will LA Times, Villaraigosa, and others evaluate the teacher's performance for not preventing the paper roll fire incident, stabbing and failing to deliver the instruction for that day? How will this incident be evaluated per the "value added" system?

LAUSD Teacher: I agree with your statement about the bashing and demonization of teachers. It all starts with the parenting, and how LAUSD has changed the rules for the worst. It is always the teacher fault, and never the student. The parents, and LAUSD has created this mess, now it is time for them to deal with. The boardmembers( not all) have been the worst since the 1960s, and that is when the rules started changing.

Wow dont tell me this is something out of the ordinary! This creep Jesse Morheads attack on his teacher and stabing of a female student with a knife, typifies the behavior of inner city students across the nation. This animalistic little thug needs to recieve the maximum sentence the law will provide! You have now had a good look at the type of student that is destroying our schools and lowering our academic standards. I am sure he will come up with an excuse like the lack of opportunity or Racism as being factors that drove him to madness rather than choice.

hurrah fot the kid who tackled and held this criminal misfit down....he's the hero in this story...I'll bet after it was all over the cops showed up, stood around, and acted important!!

West High is not in the LAUSD. It's in the TUSD, a different school district. But as evident by the actions of this student, schools in Torrance have the same problems found in LAUSD schools. As a middle school teacher, I am perpetually vigilant when around students. Some of my students actions make me wonder if they have a single positive role model at home. These are the students that benefit the most from being at school since it's the only time they find themselves in a safe and structured environment.

The first thought that entered my mind upon reading this article was the recollection of the public school teacher who was suspended after making an insensitive comment on facebook regarding her students' potential as "future criminals". Maybe she should be celebrated as a whistle-blower rather than cast out as an irresponsible civil servant. Cases like this are not isolated and shouldn't be glossed over, and should be taken as a sign that things are not right in the public school system, no matter the city or district.

Thankfully there are teachers in the world like the previous poster, Jonas, who actually cares about the students in the hell holes we call "public schools".

Smithers, it must of been the teacher's fault. See if Jason has any ideas on how Value Added tests contributed to his delinquency. There must be an angle between the teacher from last year and tie that to his score, then divide it by two. Finally, connect his success from previous years to him not doing anything bad last year.

Scholastic stock is down, it must be the teacher's fault, Smithers.

How do you account for this kid in value-added assessment? I guess it's the teacher's fault this kid isn't learning.

He must of looked in the mirror before he went to school.

Ummm... in regards to the comments here that have suggested that this students violent actions typify those of an 'inner city' or 'bussed student'... I can actually recall incidents where some non- inner city and non- bussed students also engaged in violence in Columbine, Colorado and many other such places across the United States and world.... so perhaps it would be sound to suppose that these violent actions should not be exclusively attributed to any particular demographic.

When did it become common to use "must of" instead of "must have"?

he seems a little calmer in the photo - maybe jail for a very long time will mellow him out a bit

Hey IGNORANT people! The kid obviously has mental issues. It has nothing to do with race or inner city environment. Remember COLUMBINE? Show me a crazy kids shooting up the schools or politicians, and I'll show you a middle class white kid. Who shot the Arizona governor? Who shot Reagan? What about that nut case in Germany who shot a bunch of classmates? HOLY CR_P! THE IGNORANCE IS SCARY!


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