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Teacher Accused Of Assaulting Student With Backpack

ST. PETER, Minn. (WCCO/AP) -- A Minnesota high school teacher is accused of striking a student on the head with an 11-pound backpack early in the school year.

According to court documents, the incident happened on Sept. 26, when biology teacher Robert Shoemaker allegedly struck the 17-year-old boy during class at St. Peter High School.

Shoemaker's class was viewing a slideshow and taking notes when the student complained of feeling ill and tired, putting his head down on the deks.

The criminal complaint says Shoemaker then started yelling at the boy, telling him he needed to be a leader in the classroom as he was also a leader on the school's football and wrestling teams. During the incident, the teacher also allegedly picked up the boy's backpack and threw it down on his head.

The student was asked to remain after class, charges state, where Shoemaker apologized for throwing the backpack, but also asked the student if he could see now that Shoemaker had a temper.

The student was taken to the emergency room later on, where he showed evidence of sustaining a neck contusion.

Shoemaker is charged with assault and malicious punishment of a child. He is scheduled to appear in Nicollet County Court on Nov. 19.

Shoemaker's lawyer said she's surprised the educator is facing the misdemeanor assault charge. Sarah MacGillis said the student apparently wasn't hurt because he went to football practice the same day and played in the school's game the following day.

MacGillis said "people have been coming out of the woodwork" to support Shoemaker, who has been teaching at St. Peter High School for 25 years.

(TM and © Copyright 2013 CBS Radio Inc. and its relevant subsidiaries. CBS RADIO and EYE Logo TM and Copyright 2013 CBS Broadcasting Inc. Used under license. All Rights Reserved.This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed. The Associated Press contributed to this report.)

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