Menlo Park: Teacher arrested after physical altercations with students


George Karr, 42, a physical education teacher at Willow Oaks School in Menlo Park, was arrested June 10 after a physical altercation with two children, ages 10 and 11, during a baseball game, Menlo Park police reported.

He is charged with one count of felony child endangerment and one count of misdemeanor child endangerment, according to the San Mateo County District Attorney's Office.

The altercation allegedly occurred after a student disagreed with a call Mr. Karr made during the baseball game, police spokesperson Nicole Acker said.

Mr. Karr allegedly grabbed one boy by the front of the shirt and told him to "shut up." When another boy attempted to intervene, Mr. Karr allegedly grabbed him forcefully by the back of the neck, police said.

Mr. Karr, a resident of Morgan Hill, posted $50,000 bail the day he ws arrested, the DA said. He is scheduled to appear in court on July 19 at 8:30 a.m. at the San Mateo County Courthouse in Redwood City.

The school, located at 620 Willow Road in Menlo Park, is part of the Ravenswood City School District.

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21 people like this
Posted by School Traffic cop
a resident of Menlo Park: other
on Jun 20, 2016 at 7:31 pm

I wasn't there but it sounds like the kids deserved a little push-back. How psycho do you want them to be in 20-30 years after never learning to actually shut up, have some respect, and play along? Isn't that what P.E. is for? Most certainly this comment will be deleted as incendiary but take note and watch the future.

15 people like this
Posted by Sounds minor
a resident of another community
on Jun 20, 2016 at 7:37 pm

Teachers serve in place of parents and have some duty - and legal right - to use some force. Anyone get a video?

16 people like this
Posted by POGO
a resident of Woodside: other
on Jun 20, 2016 at 9:48 pm

A teacher grabbed a boy by the front of the shirt and the teacher is arrested? Seriously? No wonder teachers turn their back at the drop of a hat - I would, too.

What a screwed up society.

11 people like this
Posted by Not Surprising
a resident of Menlo Park: Allied Arts/Stanford Park
on Jun 21, 2016 at 12:41 pm

The truth is that assault/battery, child abuse, domestic violence, laws are indiscriminate and may be a bit out of control. In the balance, these laws do more good than harm, but they get applied to anyone who has a moment of intemperance in very personal moments. They were meant to protect people from dangerous people who had serious intent to harm.

Both charges will end up as misdemeanors, but they will destroy this poor man's life. The system isn't in place to punish a person like Mr. Karr or his types of actions, but it will.

The other problem is that San Mateo is a generally sleepy and rich county. The DA's office in this county is very proud of it's conviction rate: one of the highest in the state.

7 people like this
Posted by Nancy
a resident of Portola Valley: other
on Jun 21, 2016 at 12:57 pm

As usual, the teacher gets blamed while [part removed.] No wonder discipline in classrooms is a thing of the past and no wonder it has become harder and harder to recruit new teachers. Teachers have virtually no resources to remonstrate with bad behavior from students even when the students' conduct could harm other students.
We complain about how poorly our students compare academically with students in other countries. It is difficult to learn and to teach in a disruptive classroom and consequently our students are falling behind the rest of the world.

8 people like this
Posted by Seriously?
a resident of Menlo Park: Allied Arts/Stanford Park
on Jun 21, 2016 at 12:59 pm

A formal reprimand and termination from umpiring would make sense. Arrest is an over-reaction. There were clearly other adults present. [Part removed.]

4 people like this
Posted by JBCHAM
a resident of Atherton: West Atherton
on Jun 21, 2016 at 1:23 pm

Yarnell, I did not see where the article said the teacher was "slapping around ten year olds. Did I miss something?
Having said that, slapping around any child is unacceptable in my opinion. I agree with Seriously's comment.

7 people like this
Posted by Srini
a resident of another community
on Jun 21, 2016 at 3:20 pm

I'm on the same page as all of the previous comments, except Yarnell. Nobody was slapped, pushed, head butted, drop kicked, or hung upside down. The kids were probably told more than once to back off and stop arguing, and it finally took a show of dominance (not brute force) to get them to understand. (Part removed. Please don't make assumptions about the parent's behavior.)

Like this comment
Posted by a teacher
a resident of Menlo Park: Fair Oaks
on Jun 21, 2016 at 5:04 pm

Before you go much further in accusing the parents and the two young kids of being horrid human beings who deserved to be grabbed by the shirt collar and neck (when there is actually no evidence in the article to support your blame), look at the Morgan Hill Times, March 12, 2012. See any similarity? Honestly, I am assuming that most of these reader comments come from those who try to get everyone riled up by saying ridiculous things. So, in the spirit of mental health, I suggest no one else reply to them. I do not know if this teacher in the article is the same one; I just thought I'd point out a bit of similarity before the pulpit in support of physical roughing up of children is any further engaged.

4 people like this
Posted by Sounds minor
a resident of another community
on Jun 22, 2016 at 7:15 am

The posts are in response to the article - not the actual case. We do not know what happened - except insofar as the article has reported. One would normally expect that a DA's Office in a major California County would not file such charges without very good cause; however, the San Mateo County DA's Office does not (shall I say) have a perfect reputation.

Sorry, but further commenting on this topic has been closed.

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