A California gym teacher is facing a slew of criminal charges after he allegedly tied jump ropes around students’ necks to “discipline” them, leading to reports that at least one student was injured by the questionable practice.
Peter Samhammer, 64, faces four felony counts of child abuse in connection with an incident that took place on Thursday afternoon at Herndon Barstow Elementary in Fresno, Fox 26 reported. The Fresno County Sheriff’s Office received a report that students were injured by Samhammer as part of a bizarre punishment.
According to authorities, Samhammer placed a jump rope around the victims’ necks – ranging in age from 9 to 11 years old – and tightened it briefly before letting go, using so much force that some of the victims suffered red marks to their neck and shoulder areas.
In a statement, the Central Unified School District noted that it had taken disciplinary action against Samhammer and would comply with the outcome of the case.
“Mr. Samhammer is on official administrative leave,” the statement confirmed. “Student safety is a top priority for the district and as such, we are fully cooperating with the Fresno County Sheriff’s Office and will continue to do so throughout the course of its investigation.”
Samhammer, who lives in Clovis, also reportedly worked for the Clovis Unified School District as a temporary employee in the past but is not currently employed by them. He was part of the Clovis High School wrestling staff in 2011 and 2012, the Fresno Bee reported.
Anyone with additional information is requested to contact the Fresno County Sheriff’s Office with an anonymous tip.