A student was charged with battery Wednesday after a female employee at Sonora High School was hit on the shoulder, the Sonora Police Department reported.

In a press release, police said that about 12:40 p.m., officers responded to the school for a report that a school employee had been attacked by an 18-year-old student.

Interim Police Chief Turu VanderWiel said the student had “become angry about a topic of instruction that was being given” and only became angrier when he was asked to calm down.

VanderWiel said he was not sure what class the student was in at the time of the attack.

The investigating officers learned that the student had charged at the woman and threw items in the room. He swung at her and struck her on the shoulder, and then chased her into another classroom, VanderWiel said. Another school employee got involved, and they were able to get the student to stop, he said.

The employee sustained a minor injury.

A suspect was arrested at his Racetrack Road home at 2:46 p.m.

VanderWiel said the student’s departure from the school was “coordinated,” and school administration knew he had left the campus.

Jason Zachery Haddad, 18, was booked on suspicion of felony charges of battery on a school employee with injury, threatening a school employee and misdemeanor charges battery of a person on school property.

His bail was set at $20,000 and, as of Thursday afternoon, he was in the custody at the Tuolumne County Jail.

More than two hours before, at 10 a.m., more than 175 Sonora High School students had gathered at the center of campus to protest gun violence for 17 minutes in honor of the victims of the Parkland, Florida, shooting on Feb. 14.

VanderWiel said the battery and the student walkout occurring within hours of each other appeared to be unrelated.

“There was nothing to indicate that there was a connection between the two events. As far as our investigation goes, it appears to be an isolated incident,” he said.





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