L.A. high school teacher charged with assaulting student in locker-room altercation
Police are investigating a Bernstein High School coach accused of beating a student, school officials confirmed Monday.
Jorge Chavez, 33, an athletic coach and teacher, “punched, slammed and began kicking” a student, said a school district official familiar with the campus police report. Chavez reportedly denied the assault allegation, contending that the student tried to force his way into the boys' locker room and began “cursing and swinging” when the teacher denied access. The teacher says he “took the student to the ground” to restrain him.
Photos of the student reportedly show a massive welt on his face, caused by the foot of Chavez, the district official said. Chavez stands 5 foot 8 and weighs 210 pounds, according to sheriff’s department booking information.
The incident ended a brief tenure for Chavez at the school, which is in Hollywood. Chavez had been at Bernstein High for six days before the Feb. 28 altercation.
He’d previously been a teacher at Nimitz Middle School for four years, followed by a temporary position elsewhere from late October 2010 to mid-February 2011, district records indicate.
Chavez was arrested March 1 and charged with felony assault before being released later the same day, with his bail set at $50,000. Pending further developments, he's been reassigned to a non-campus job, a district spokesman said.
-- Howard Blume