The 10th-grade student who seriously injured a Hillsborough High School shop teacher with a sucker-punch surrendered to Tampa police early Thursday, one day after the incident.
The 16-year-old, whose name was withheld because of his age, was charged as a juvenile with felony aggravated battery, according to police reports. He was sent to the Hillsborough Regional Juvenile Detention Center.
Shop teacher William Moore, 55, suffered a fractured skull and cut lip from the blow, which apparently was thrown after the veteran teacher called the teen from the classroom. Principal Charles Holland said Moore was concerned about the student's poor attendance record and was trying to counsel him.
"He must have pushed the wrong button," Holland said.
The teen pointed a finger at Moore, then hit Moore in the mouth without warning, knocking the teacher to the ground, police said. Moore apparently fractured his skull when his head hit the floor.
St. Joseph's Hospital officials refused to disclose Moore's condition Thursday. Holland said the teacher did not need surgery. He said Moore was conscious Thursday, and the swelling of his brain apparently had stopped. He said Moore could not remember being hit.
The student faces a hearing that could result in his expulsion.
"It's totally unacceptable. I feel this rise in violence we are experiencing has got to come to a stop," said Hillsborough County School Board member Sam Rampello. "The message we should be sending out is we'll discipline students to the fullest extent."
_ MARTY ROSEN