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She is accused of hitting a student who was calling her vulgar names.
Published May 13, 2011

It was the most frightening moment of Jim Malcolm's career.

Malcolm was teaching high school in Rhode Island in the mid 1980s when an angry, athletically built student came at Malcolm like he was going to hit him.

"I knew at that time he had to swing or strike me first before I could defend myself," recalled Malcolm, 67, a former Hernando County School Board member. "I took my glasses off and I was hoping that if a punch connected I would still be standing."

Joe Vitalo, president of the Hernando Classroom Teachers Association, maintains Sandra Hadsock felt a similar fear Wednesday when, authorities say, the 64-year-old veteran art teacher swung two or three times at a male student who called her vulgar names at Central High School.

Hadsock landed at least one punch on the student's face, causing a minor cut on his lip, a sheriff's report said.

The altercation was caught on a student's cell phone camera. She was arrested on one count of child abuse and released on bond later that day.

"Which headline do you want to read?" Vitalo said. "'Sixty-four year-old teacher hits a student that was lunging at her,' or do you want to read, 'High school student puts a 64-year-old teacher in the hospital.'"

Hadsock would not discuss the specifics of the case Thursday, referring reporters to her attorney, Ty Tison, who did not return a message left at his office. But as she left her Brooksville home Thursday morning, Hadsock told Bay News 9 she wants to return to the classroom.

The student has been suspended and more disciplinary action may be taken, he said.

Hadsock has been suspended with pay pending a district investigation. Her first court appearance is slated for June 7.

As for that threatening high school student Malcolm faced so long ago, he said, "I screamed at him and he backed down."