Jack McCulley taught in the Battle Creek Public Schools for 22 years. He continued to work as a substitute after he retired in 2008.
But, after a Battle Creek Central High School student punched him out in October, he doesn't want to go back. And the district doesn't want him to either.
"I'm not going to return to Battle Creek Public Schools, ever," McCulley said. "I'll never enter one of their buildings again."
McCulley, 60, says that on Oct. 4 a freshman hit him in the jaw with an uppercut, punched him in the back of the head twice and landed one more hard blow to his head during an after-class altercation.
The building principal, he said, then asked him to leave the building and his employer, EduStaff, suspended him indefinitely from substitute teaching, pending an investigation.
He now wonders if he'll get a chance to teach again.
According to Calhoun County Probate Court administrator Kris Getting, the male student pleaded guilty on Nov. 29 to assault and battery, a charge equal to a misdemeanor in an adult court.
The Battle Creek Enquirer is not identifying the student because he is a minor.
He was placed on probation for six months. It is not known whether he was suspended, returned to BC Central or transferred to another school.
"At Battle Creek Public Schools, the safety and security of students and staff is our first priority," BCPS Superintendent Kim Carter said in an email. "An investigation regarding this issue revealed mutual conflicts.
"Due to this information, BCPS determined that it was in the best interest for the substitute and BCPS that he not be assigned to Battle Creek Public Schools," she added.
Jodi Center, EduStaff's director of human resources, could not be reached for comment Friday.
McCulley taught U.S. history, geography and government for nine years at the former W.K. Kellogg Middle School and 12 years at Northwestern Middle School. He spent a year helping B.C. Central students with English and social studies before retiring in 2008.
He was on a long-term assignment when the incident occurred after a fifth-hour class.
McCulley says the student who assaulted him spent most of his class time texting or watching videos on his cell phone, didn't listen when McCulley asked him to put the phone away, cursed at him, turned on the faucets in the science room and threatened to assault him.
McCulley estimates that he kicked the student out of his classroom at least 15 times over a period of a little more than three weeks.
BCPS later told his employer that he incited the altercation with his sarcasm, said McCulley, who still suffers from headaches and has hired an attorney.
"He would curse at me. I would say 'Thank you very much; there you go again being profane and obnoxious,' or "Thank you very little,'" McCulley said. "They figured the sarcasm to them incited him, which I don't buy."
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