VIRGINIA BEACH, Va. — A Virginia Beach math teacher was found guilty of assault and battery for writing the word ‘focus’ on a student’s forehead with a dry erase marker.
Daniel Board, 46, was charged with assault and battery following an incident at Landstown Middle School on September 16, 2016.
Board, who had just started as a math teacher with the school only a few weeks prior, resigned shortly after affiliate WTKR broke the story.
According to testimony, Board claims he was trying to be playful in teaching the student to focus on his school work. Both sides testified the student had been disruptive in class, talking with other kids and not focusing on his worksheet just prior to the incident.
Witnesses testified Board, who has worked in both the Norfolk and Virginia Beach public school systems for ten years, is known to be an honest, hard-working math teacher who tries to form positive relationships with his students.
However, the student involved in the assault has ADHD, according to courtroom testimony.
The victim testified before a judge that the incident made him feel “embarrassed”, and the Commonwealth’s attorney argued Board unnecessarily singled out the student in front of his classmates.
Board also took a photo of the student with the word ‘focus’ written on his forehead in front of the class. The photo was submitted as evidence during Tuesday’s adjudicatory hearing.
Additionally, according to testimony from the victim, Board instructed a student to hit the victim every time he said something Board disapproved of.
According to the victim’s mother, Board called several days after the incident and profusely apologized for what happened in class, begging her not to yank her son out of his math class.
The victim in this case has since switched schools, according to his parents. “We are no longer at Landstown Middle School,” said the victim’s father shortly after the verdict. “You know how children can be. Sometimes things that happen early on in life they will tease you about through the years.”
Affiliate WTKR is not publicly identifying the names of the parents or the juvenile victim in this case.
“I am sure he’s glad that for now it appears to be over, but he was the brunt of jokes for a little while after this,” said the victim’s father.
Board’s defense attorney declined to comment when asked if they planned to appeal the verdict.
Board was facing up to 12 months in jail and a $2,500 fine. A judge ordered him to pay $100 for the crime.
It was not revealed if Board still works in the Hampton Roads area as a teacher during the trial.